Should Medicine Be A Self Regulating Profession

1383 WordsNov 2, 20146 Pages
Since the 19th century there have been ongoing debates about whether medicine should be a self regulating profession whose members answer only to eachother, or whether members of the general public should monitor the ethical conduct of doctors. Throughout history professionals go through a series of changes that adapt to their changing social and political environments. The responses to incremental change can be very successful, but often lead to a patchwork approach when attempting to strengthen an overall system. The medical profession is no exception. Over the years, the profession has attempted to self-regulate, but given the social and political changes, public oversight has been critical to its evolution. Like most professions, there may be guidelines, but also a culture of behavior. Many would ask if it is inherently contradictory for a profession where there may be self-interest to regulate itself. History dictates that it is important to integrate both professional standards from the inside and regulations from the outside; this intersection has the greatest possibility of success. Along the way in this incremental change, public perception can be incredibly powerful, and in many ways the precursor, for meaningful changes leading to increased accountability and transparency. The medical profession, both in practice and in research cannot itself be self-regulating. Sadly, personal morality is simply insufficient for professional medical ethics. The evolution of the
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