Time Essay: Patients' Rights and the Quality of Medical Care

It is fitting not merely that he [the physician] should possess a knowledge of diseases and their remedies but also that he should be one who may safely be trusted to apply those remedies. Character is as important a qualification as knowledge. —Supreme Court of the U.S. (1898)

Each year in the U.S. thousands of patients die needlessly, or needlessly soon, or have the quality of their remaining life irreparably damaged because they have received incompetent medical care. In the vast majority of cases, nei ther a suffering survivor nor a next of...

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