The Practice of Medicine: The Dilemma Neglected in the Healthcare Debate

But fairness and equality of outcomes is a hollow victory if, in our rush to find simple solutions, we destroy our capacity for the practice of medicine. Illness itself is spread inequitably and, in large part, blindly across the human race. On that reading, life's outcomes are already unfair. The best possible response to that suffering does not lie alone in resolving issues of access. It also lies in preserving the effort to find an effective cure for the illnesses that threaten our lives. Without it, access will mean very little.

Note: The Reverend Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt serves as an ethics and patient safety consultant to the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD. Widely published, he is in the process of writing The Dave Test: Caring for Ourselves and One Another when Life Sucks (Abingdon, Fall, 2013).

10/7/2012 4:00:00 AM
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  • Frederick Schmidt
    About Frederick Schmidt
    Frederick W. Schmidt is the author of The Dave Test: A Raw Look at Real Life in Hard Times (Abingdon Press: 2013) and several other books, including A Still Small Voice: Women, Ordination and the Church (Syracuse University Press, 1998), The Changing Face of God (Morehouse, 2000), When Suffering Persists (Morehouse, 2001), in Italian translation: Sofferenza, All ricerca di una riposta (Torino: Claudiana, 2004), What God Wants for Your Life (Harper, 2005), Conversations with Scripture: Revelation (Morehouse, 2005) and Conversations with Scripture: Luke (Morehouse, 2009). He holds the Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL, and directs the Job Institute for Spiritual formation. He is an Episcopal Priest, spiritual director, retreat facilitator, conference leader, writer, and Consulting Editor at Church Publishing in New York. He and his wife, Natalie live in Chicago, Illinois. He can also be reached at:
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