AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. October 2001, Volume 3, Number 10.

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Caring for Poor and Vulnerable Populations

One of the challenges the profession faces in shaping medicine's future, presented as part of VM's two-year commemorative issue.

Patients at the Margins - by Sam Huber
Professional responsibility applies to individuals, institutions, professional societies and the medical profession as a whole, resulting in a continuum of commitment for treating all patients, particularly those who are poor and vulnerable.

The Obligation to Provide Charity Care - by Karen Geraghty, PhD
While physicians always had the duty to treat indigent patients, the growing financial pressures of limited resources and limited state support have lead to the current guidelines in the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics on caring for the poor.

"Please Help Me. My Baby Is Sick and Needs Medicine." - by Robert Davidson, MD, MPH
A Peace Corps physician working in Africa discusses the immense contrast between his own wealth and the poverty of his neighbors, as well as the cultural pressure to continually give money to people in need.


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