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Beyond professional self-interest : medical ethics and the disciplinary function of the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, 1858-1914.

Maehle, Andreas-Holger (2020) 'Beyond professional self-interest : medical ethics and the disciplinary function of the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, 1858-1914.', Social history of medicine., 33 (1). pp. 41-56.

Abstract

Traditional historiography tends to draw a negative picture of British doctors’ ethics during the long nineteenth century. The medical professional ethics of this period have been described as self-serving and as a tool to monopolise the health care market. In this paper I attempt to challenge this rather one-sided view by looking into evidence for the practice of medical ethics, not just its normative texts. Focusing on the disciplinary function of the General Medical Council and discussing a variety of its cases, from fraudulent registration, sexual misconduct and breach of confidence to negligence, covering unqualified assistants and advertising, I argue that nineteenth-century medical ethics aimed at supporting the interests of patients and of the public at large as well as the reputation of the profession.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hky072
Publisher statement:This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in Social History Of Medicine following peer review. The version of record Maehle, Andreas-Holger (2020). Beyond Professional Self-Interest: Medical Ethics and the Disciplinary Function of the General Medical Council of the United Kingdom, 1858-1914. Social History of Medicine 33(1): 41-56is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/shm/hky072
Date accepted:19 July 2018
Date deposited:20 July 2018
Date of first online publication:17 August 2018
Date first made open access:17 August 2020

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