The industrialization of medicine has transformed the healthcare delivery system from select individuals or small groups to larger groups seeking their financial interests or managed care organizations operated by financially motivated non-professional corporate managers. This has transformed the original physician-patient relationship to a provider-patient-government-third party payer relationship. As a result, the traditional trust relationship between the physician and the patient has been weakened. Although, there is much confusion and conflict in various aspects of medical ethics, the virtues and character of trust play a vital role in integrated medical ethics due to their conceptual link with duties, rules, consequences, and moral psychology. Ethical theories in medical professionalism need to be based not only on virtues but also on the broader sense of personalism, particularly Thomistic Personalism, and the natural law justification of moral norms instead of limited sense of principle of justice based on duty. We hope bioethicists posit this approach in a sound and solid future version of biomedical ethical theory.
Paul I. Lee is currently a professor at both the Sogang University and Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Graduate School for Life, the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea. He obtained his M.D. Degree at School of Medicine, the Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea in 1969, his Master’s Degree in Bioethics at Nicholas Cardinal Cheong Graduate School for Life, the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea in 2009 and his Doctorate in Bioethics at the Pontificio Ateneo Regina Apostolorum, Rome, Italy in 2013.