MEDICAL ETHICS AND PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS
ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES OF PHYSICIANS IN RELATION TO PROBLEMS OF DRUG ABUSE, AND PUBLIC AND GOVERNMENTAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS THE CONTROL OF THE USE OF PSYCHOTROPIC DRUGS.
Mervyn F. Silverman and Deborah B. Silverman
1. ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
The medical profession with the foundation of its own principles of ethics, is uniquely qualified to be the guiding force in the cooperative solving of all these problems and in developing national and international ethics, regarding man's future treatment, and perhaps future control of mankind. 1
-- Dwight Wilbur Former president, A.M.A.
One of the problems to which Dr. Wilbur might well be referring is that of drug abuse. It is interesting to note his belief that the medical profession's ethical heritage gives it special competence to deal with many of society's problems.
When the first written code of ethical principles for medical practice, the Code of Hammurabi, was conceived four thousand years ago, it merely set fees for services and invoked the principle of lex talionis (an eye for an