The Professional Ethics of Medieval Pharmacists in the Islamic World
Author(s)Chipman, Leigh N.B.
Professional Patient Relationship
History of Health Ethics / Bioethics
Drugs and Drug Industry
Philosophy of the Health Professions
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AbstractMost work on Islamic medical ethics has been in relation to the physician, yet physicians are only one category of many health-related professionals. In view of its role as mediator between the layman and medication, pharmacy is of perhaps equal importance. In medieval Islam, there seems to have been a clear differentiation between the physician and the pharmacist. However, most of our sources reflect the physician's point of view. A text which uniquely reflects that of the pharmacist is the thirteenth-century Minhaj al-dukkan by al-Kuhin al-'Attar of Cairo. A comparison between the ethical contents of this book, and of similar works aimed at physicians, can indicate what the differences and similarities were between the "good physician" and the "good pharmacist." Interestingly, the language used to define the "go od" professional is religiously neutral--there is nothing to evince a particular identity, beyond a general monotheism, on the part of the writers.
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2002; 21(2): 321-338
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