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Primary loyalty to the patient

The principles of medical ethics make it clear that the primary loyalty of the health professional is to the patient. While the health professional may feel bound towards the state as an employer or for ideological reasons, their first and foremost obligation is always to the patient. According to the Tokyo Declaration “…the doctor’s fundamental role is to alleviate the distress of his or her fellow men, and no motive whether personal, collective or political shall prevail against this higher purpose.”

In fact, according to the World Medical Association’s Declaration on the Rights of the Patient, “whenever legislation, government action or any other administration or institution denies patients these rights, physicians should pursue appropriate means to assure or to restore them.”