Do Physicians Have an Obligation to Treat Patients with AIDS?

Richard Lennihan, Robert S. Mckelvey, George D. Wendel, Keith Henry, Lester J. Kobylak, James Kalivas, Ezekiel J. Emanuel

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


To the Editor: Dr. Emanuel writes with thoroughness, thoughtfulness, and conviction on the issue of physicians' obligation to treat patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (June 23 issue).* I agree with his premise that physicians do have such an obligation, but I recognize several unique features of this epidemic that can lead to understandable differences of opinion among physicians, hospitals, and health care providers. Patients with AIDS will die of AIDS. Virtually no one will survive. By contrast, not all patients with poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, or even bubonic plague died of their illness. If a physician contracts AIDS as a consequence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-122
Number of pages3
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 12 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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