Goldwater Rule

The Hippocratic Oath is an oath taken by physicians. In its original form, it required physicians to swear by a number of healing gods to uphold ethical standards when dealing with patients. One of the fundamental tenets is to never cause injury or harm to a patient. Similarly, the Goldwater rule prohibits psychiatrists from giving an opinion about public figures without having examined them or obtained their consent to discuss their mental health This practice has been in the news a lot recently due to a public figure in the developed world.

Ethics and medicine are closely intertwined. After all, you are holding a person’s life in your hand, often even literally. Balancing these ethics with commercial interests can pose a challenge. A human would easily be willing to sell one kidney to save the other. Such a situation can leave them open to exploitation by a vast swathe of the medical community. Increasingly, your medical condition, history, and records are digitally available. This digital data poses a problem as it increases the risk of the invasion of privacy or even discrimination against you by an employer.

Perhaps the most significant ethical dilemma in modern times probably involves preventing disease in the first place. Many of our ailments are caused by or accelerated by the food we eat or the environment we live in. We often hear about grandparents who lived to a hundred and ate and drank everything. The purity of the food and their situation was markedly different from what we experience. Of course, an opioid can solve many problems, but when that becomes a default, we end up with more sick people not less and a crisis on our hands to boot. Our health is in our hands, but the medical community can play a catalyst in preventing instead of curing disease.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.