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SEC. 8. The intimate relations into which the physician is brought with his patient give him opportunity to exercise a powerful moral influence over him. This should always be exerted to turn him from dangerous or vicious courses towards a temperate and virtuous life. The physician is sometimes called to assist in practices of questionable propriety, and even of a criminal character. Among these may be mentioned the pretence of disease, in order to evade services demanded by law, as jury or military duty; the concealment of organic disease or of morbid tendencies, in order to secure favorable rates of life insurance, or for deception of other kinds; and especially the procurement of abortion when not necessary to save the life of the mother. To all such propositions, the physician should present an inflexible opposition. It is his duty, in an authoritative, but friendly manner, to explain and urge the nature, illegality and guilt of the proposed action, and to use every effort to dissuade from it, and to strengthen the patient's virtue and sense of right. The physician should be aware of the frequency of criminal abortion, and of the different methods employed for it, and should take every occasion to warn those who may be tempted to resort to it. In no case should the physician induce abortion, or premature labor, without a previous consultation with the most experienced practitioners attainable, nor without the most clear and imperative reasons.
Article 11.—Duties and Obligations of Patients to their Physicians.
Sec. 1. Physicians are required, by the nature of their profession, to sacrifice comfort, ease and even health, for the sake of their patients. Patients should reflect upon this, and should understand and remember that they have corresponding duties and obligations towards their physicians.
Sec. 2. The patient should select a physician in whose knowledge, skill and fidelity he can place implicit confidence; whose habits of life are regular and temperate, and whose character and demeanor are such that he can regard him as a personal friend. He must be able to confide in him freely. And the physician should not be changed for light reasons. A physician thoroughly acquainted with the constitution, temperaments and tendencies of a family can the more successfully treat them.
SEC. 3. The patient should always consult his physician as early as possible after he has discovered that he is ill. A disease which is trifling at its onset may grow formidable through neglect. The physician should be regarded as a confidential adviser, who, on being early consulted, may prevent a sickness.
Sec. 4. The patient should faithfully and unreservedly state to his physician the supposed cause of his malady, and tell him everything that may have a bearing upon its nature. Since the physician is under the strongest obligations to secrecy, the patient should not allow considerations of delicacy, modesty or pride to prevent an entirely frank statement of his case, and candid and full replies to interrogatories.
Sec. 5. The patient should implicitly obey his physician's injunctions as regards diet, regimen and medical treatment. If he deviate from these directions, he cannot hold the physician to a full responsibility in the case; and, further, by a partial obedience he incurs some personal risk, since, in the treatment of diseases, all parts of the physician's advice are made to harmonize, and each is dependent on the others and may be unsafe without the coincidence of the others. Moreover, he does the physician an undeserved, and often a serious, wrong. If the patient have not sufficient confidence in his physician, and respect for him, to follow his directions, it were better for him to frankly say so, and to employ another in whom he can confide.
The patient should never allow himself, while under a physician's treatment, to take other medicines than those prescribed by him. He would, by so doing, incur a serious risk of taking medicines that are incompatible with each other. If desirous of trying any other mode of treatment, it would be much better frankly to state the fact to his physician, and ask his advice.
Sec. 6. The patient should, if possible, avoid receiving the friendly visits of a physician other than the one under wbose charge he is. When he receives such visits, he should avoid conversation on the subject of his disease; for an accidental observation might give him false impressions respecting his disease, or destroy his confidence in the treatment he is pursuing. He should never send for a consulting physician without the express consent of his own medical attendant; for physicians can act together for the advantage of their patient only when they act harmoniously. Nor should he, by a secret appointment, constrain his medical attendant to meet anothers physician with whom he might not be willing to consult; but the
patient has an undoubted right to have the opinion of any physician whom he may desire upon his case. His proper course is to request his medical attendant to arrange a consultation, and frankly state his desire for the physician whom he may prefer. If his medical attendant decline the consultation, it is then for the patient to determine whether he will insist, and thus dismiss his medical attendant, or whether he will defer to the judgment of his own physician. And the patient has a right thus to choose.
Sec. 7. If the patient wishes to dismiss his physician, he should, in justice and in common courtesy, state his reasons, and, if possible, in a friendly manner. To dispense with the services of a physician need not, of necessity, change the social relations of the parties.
SEC. 8. The patient should, when practicable, send for the physician in the morning, before his usual hour for leaving home. He will, by so doing, secure his earlier attendance, and will enable him the better to apportion his time so as to do justice to all his calls and engagements. He should call on his physician during his office hours only, and should avoid disturbing him in hours devoted to meals, rest and sleep. And in receiving his physician's visits, he should avoid compelling him to wait, even a few minutes.
The aggregate of petty detentions, while the patient is making some needless preparation to receive the physician, amount to a serious waste of valuable time.
OF THE DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS OF PHYSICIANS TO THE PROFES
SION AND 10 EACH OTHER.
Article I.-Duties to the Profession.
SECTION 1. Inasmuch as every member of the medical profession partakes of the honor in which it is held, and is entitled to its privileges and immunities and profits by the scientific labors of his predecessors and associates, it is his duty faithfully to endeavor, in his turn, to elevate the position of the profession and, by every honorable exertion, to enrich the science of medicine.
Sec. 2. In no other profession should a higher standard of morality and greater purity of personal character be required. Physicians ought to come up to this standard, and do what they may to exalt it. As the practice of medicine requires the constant exercise of a vigorous and clear understanding, and as the practitioner should be, at all times, ready for emergencies in which the welfare and even the life of a fellow-creature may depend upon bis steady hand, acute eye and unclouded brain, it is incumbent upon the physician to be temperate in all things. Sec. 3. The physician should not resort to public advertisements or
. V private cards or handbills, inviting the attention of persons affected by particular diseases or publicly offering advice and medicine to the poor gratis, or promising radical cures. Neither should he publish cases or operations in the daily prints, nor invite laymen to be present at operations, nor solicit or exhibit certificates of skill and success, nor perform any similar act.
Sec. 4. It is equally derogatory to professional character for a physician to hold a patent for any nostrum or any surgical instrument or appliance, or to keep secret the nature or composition of any medicine used by him. Such restriction or concealment is inconsistent with the beneficence and liberality which should characterize the medical profession. But it is the duty of the physician
to avail himself of every opportunity to observe the action and study the properties of new or secret remedies and new processes of preparing medicines as well as new modes of treating diseases, and to subject them to the analysis of scientific investigation. For the physician should always bear in mind that the great object of his profession is to cure the sick, and that it is not only admissible, but is his solemn duty to investigate thoroughly and without prejudice, whatever offers any probability of adding to his knowledge of the art and means of curing, and of thus enriching the science of medicine.
Article Il. - Professional Services of Physicians to each other.
Sec. 1. All practitioners of medicine, their wives, and children while under the paternal care, are entitled to the gratuitous services of any one or more of the faculty residing near them. Physicians, when ill, are incompetent to prescribe for themselves. The natural anxiety and solicitude which they feel for members of their own family when ill, tend to obscure their professional judgment and make it difficult to treat them. Under these circumstances physicians are peculiarly dependent on each other, and kind offices and professional aid should always be cheerfully and gratuitously afforded. But visits should not be obtruded officiously or unasked upon a sick physician.
If, however, a physician in affiuent circumstances, request the attendance of a distant professional brother, and offer an honorarium, it is not proper to decline it; for one should not, even from a kindly motive, impose upon another a pecuniary obligation which the recipient would not wish to incur.
If a physician is called from any considerable distance, the expense of travel, etc., thereby incurred, should always be paid by the physician receiving the visit; and an honorarium may be tendered if much time is consumed in making the visit.
Article 111.-Duties of Physicians as regards Vicarious Offices.
Sec. 1. Attention to his personal affairs, the pursuit of health, and the various contingencies to which the physician is peculiarly exposed, sometimes compel him temporarily to withdraw from his duties to his patients, and to request some of his professional brethren to discharge them for him. Compliance with such a request is