Renewed Trust: From Distributive Justice to Do No Harm in Medical Ethics—Robert S. Emmons, MD

June 11, 2018

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Robert S. Emmons, MD talks about the unintended consequences and negative effects of distributive justice and the patient-doctor relationship. Dr. Emmons’s thesis is that Distributive Justice has come to crowd out all other ethical values in everyday clinical practice, in an automatic, unconscious way, thus eroding trust between patients and physicians.

Doctors can restore that trust with patients by making Do No Harm an expression of humility and a central principle of ethical practice. Clinical experience tells us that outcomes improve in an environment of trust between patients and their doctors.

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Dr. Robert S. Emmons is a Board Certified Psychiatrist / Neurologist – Clinical Neurophysiology practicing in Burlington, VT. Dr. Emmons graduated Summa Cum Laude, Luther College and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. He is affiliated with the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), and founder and Staff Psychiatrist of the Franciscan Free Psychiatric Clinic in Vermont.


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