Serve the people: Understanding ideology and professional ethics of medicine in China

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Health Care Analysis, 2010, 18 (3), pp. 294 - 309
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The article explores the communist ideology that has guided the formation of professional ethics of medicine in China. It first explores the constitutions of the People's Republic of China and the Chinese Communist Party and codes of practice for medicine enforced since 1949, showing that the core of the ideology in relation to health provision and doctor-patient relationship has always been 'serving the people wholeheartedly'. The ideological undertaking, however, has never been successfully exercised. In the pre-reform era, the bureaucratisation of health professionals led to the emergence of 'bureaucratic medicine' featuring negligence of patients' interests. In the reform era, the prevailing commercialisation of health care is in fundamental conflict with the ideological commitment to serving the people. As a result, the socialist professional ethics of medicine has not been satisfactorily practiced in reality. © Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009.
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