HIV and the obligation to treat

Mark Sheldon*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The paper is an attempt to review the basis for the claim that physicians have a professional obligation to treat AIDS patients. Considered are the historical record, two professional codes of ethics, and several recent articles. The paper concludes that the arguments considered, which attempt to support the claim that physicians have an obligation to treat, fail. It is suggested, rather, that common humanity, which physicians share with those who suffer from AIDS, ought to be the basis for engaging in the care of AIDS patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-212
Number of pages12
JournalTheoretical Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 1990


  • AIDS
  • codes of ethics
  • ethics
  • obligation to treat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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