Moral Choices for Doctors

Moral Choices for Today’s Physician

The curren tgeneration of physicians is the most challenged by moral choices in perhaps a century.Those choices come in three tiers:personal,organizational, andsocietal. Carl Sandburg’s poem,1 about fog rolling in“on little cat feet”comes to mind: Some moral choices arrive with drama,but most do not.Most come unannounced,silent in arrival—on little cat feet—and are gone almost before we notice. Forty-five years ago, I was a medical student interviewing for the match.The night before my Peter Bent Brigham Hospital interview, I was on overnight duty. “I’m having my Brigham interview tomorrow and I’m nervous,”I told my resident. “You should be,”he said.“They’re brutal. I still remember the question they opened with. It was impossible.” “Tell me more,”I said.

with thanks to our Advisory Board member, Dr. Richard Lippin.