Why the Premise of “One Human Race” Matters in the Moral Philosophy and Practice of Medicine

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One Human Race

Before human beings become members of any religion, they come into the world as persons. Theologically speaking, all human beings are sacred persons, because they are made in “the image of God.” That is why physicians and nurses should care for other human beings, because they persons, and persons matter more than anything in all creation.

Thus, by virtue of the natural order of being, that is, by virtue of creation, there is only one human race, one humanity. All human beings, then, despite their differences, are brothers and sisters, because they belong to the same human family.

Another reason, then, physicians and nurses, without discrimination, care for all patients, is that they are members of one human family. For example, the Declaration of Geneva or Geneva Code refers to the medical profession and may apply, in several respects, to nurses, particularly the section which says,

“I WILL NOT PERMIT considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient.”

What, then, in the natural (not spiritual) order of things, unites human beings more than anything else? It is their common humanity! Ultimately, that is why all people –regardless of their skin-color, nationality, ethnicity,  politics or ideology, religion, gender and sexuality — must respect each other as human beings. That is also why a person’s humanity must come first in the practice of medicine!

Therefore, we human beings have a common human nature and are placed on a common planet, namely, earth, not only for our own survival but also to help others survive. We need to care for each other. Physicians and nurses, perhaps more than others, are aware of that moral philosophy and apply it to caring for patients as persons.

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