The Japan Medical Association’s Principles of Medical Ethics:

  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.”

With TOK essay Prescribed Title #5, make sure you have a clear understanding of the different meanings of the words “reliable” and “certainty” as they can be interpreted in different ways.

There are a number of aspects of this RLE that could be used to discuss whether or not reliable knowledge can lack certainty:

  • Although the English translation is excellent, it is usually very difficult for an English language translation to effective convey the precise meanings of the original Japanese. While this is potentially true for any translation, the English and Japanese languages have very little in common and translation is very challenging.
  • The six guidelines are very broad and lack specifics.
  • How can a doctor prove, for example, that he / she has ” compassion” for patients (#3)?
  • What power do the guidelines have? How are they enforced?
  • What role do the guidelines play compared to Japanese law?
  • There are a number of private hospitals and clinics in Japan. This seems to contradict #6.