The outlook for medical ethics in the 1990s.


  • M R Lopes Faculdade de Medicina de Coimbra.



The evolution of medicine throughout time--in clinical practice, in scientific progress and in the development of new technologies of semeiology and therapeutics-, created a long list of ethical problems unknown before. If the Hippocratic oath remains valid nowadays, as a true monument of rare moral elegance, the truth is, that it began to be unable to cover all the new aspects created by the evolution of Medicine on one hand, and the transformation of the Society, on the other hand. Therefore, the confrontation of the traditional principles of Medical ethics with the new realities is mandatory, to analyse a long list of well defined questions such as, clinical trials, human experimentation, problems related with the creation of life and its ending, organ transplants molecular biology, medical genetics, analysis of, human genome and its consequences, new biotechnologies, as well as other questions that are covered by the broader aspect of bioethics, interlinking in this way several areas of knowledge. All the technologies used in clinical practice, radically changed the traditional relation between the doctor and the patient, and created not only a number of new problems, but also, clear threats to medical secrecy and patient privacy. The exponential increase in the number of terminal patients made for way some temptations (intensive care, euthanasia) and for the idea of developing a correct structure palliative Medicine.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


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How to Cite

Lopes MR. The outlook for medical ethics in the 1990s. Acta Med Port [Internet]. 1994 Sep. 30 [cited 2023 Feb. 2];7(9):501-7. Available from:



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