Medical ethics in contemporary clinical practice

J Chin Med Assoc. 2005 Nov;68(11):495-9. doi: 10.1016/S1726-4901(09)70082-6.


This review article describes and analyzes ethical issues in medical practice, particularly those issues encountered by physicians in their relationships with their patients. These relationships often involve ethical conflicts between 2 or more interests, which physicians need to recognize and resolve. The article deals with 4 topics in clinical practice in which ethical conflicts occur: physicians' duty of confidentiality in a digital environment, their responsibilities for dealing with abuses of the human rights of patients, their role in clinical research, and their relationships with commercial enterprises. The ethical policies of the World Medical Association provide the basis for determining appropriate physician conduct on these matters. The article concludes with reflections on the need for international standards of medical ethics.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality
  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Ethics, Research
  • Human Rights Abuses
  • Humans
  • Physician-Patient Relations