1. “The physician should strive to achieve a lifelong dedication to continuing education, to keep abreast of medical knowledge and technology, and to support its progress and development.
  2. The physician should be aware of the dignity and responsibility of his/her occupation and strive to enhance his/her cultural refinement, education, and integrity.
  3. The physician should respect the individuality of his/her patients, treat them with compassion, provide full explanations of all medical treatment, and endeavor to earn the trust of the patient.
  4. The physician should maintain respect for his/her fellow physician, cooperate with medical care personnel and serve the cause of medical care to the best of his/her abilities.
  5. The physician should respect the spirit of public service that characterizes health care, contribute to the development of society while abiding by legal standards and establishing legal order.
  6. The physician will not engage in medical activities for profit-making motives.”

clearly describe what is expected of doctors in Japan. May 2020 Theory of Knowledge (TOK) Essay Prescribed Title #2 requires a student to compare / contrast a description and an explanation. The JMA’s principles are a clear (but basic) description and to some extent they are an explanation of how Japanese doctors conduct themselves.

However, the principles do not offer an in-depth explanation of what the principles mean in practice. #6, for example, states that doctors will not “engage in medical activities for profit-making motives.” and yet there are private hospitals and clinics all over Japan where one could assume there are definitely “profit-making motives.”



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