Part of physicians’ professional responsibilities are their ethical obligations. There are many international and ethical codes and declarations which serve as guidelines on how doctors should behave towards their patients. When a doctor takes the Hippocratic Oath, he or she promises to keep patients “from harm and injustice.” For example, physicians have the duty to report to the police the battery of a patient when he or she comes to the emergency room with suspicious injuries.
Another relevant situation are physicians in Sri Lanka who wanted to protect human rights. They felt they had an obligation to respect human life by reporting the killings of civilians by the army. The government in turn detained these doctors and denied them their right to legal counsel, claiming the doctors provided false information to the media. This jeopardizes how ethical a doctor can be while practicing in a country that will imprison or even harm him or her for actions the government sees as threatening their country’s reputation. Nevertheless, physicians around the world strive to do what is right and beneficial for their patients’ lives.