Peter FM Choong
Med J Aust 2022; 217 (5): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51676
Published online: 5 September 2022

Translating guidelines into practice is required to maintain the balance between practitioner autonomy and accountability

Medical professionals assure us that they will only provide care that limits harm (non‐maleficence) and promotes the best outcomes (beneficence) for patients. The basis of this social contract is the expectation of integrity, morality, and altruism in their business practices, making doctors trustworthy sources of good health care. A doctor’s first duty is to their patient, a dictum as relevant today as it was for Hippocrates. In our complex society, it is more important than ever that doctors are trusted by their patients. In return, doctors enjoy autonomy of practice, status in society, and self‐regulation.

  • Peter FM Choong

  • The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC



I am supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Practitioner Fellowship.

Competing interests:

I received consultancy fees for advisory and design work from Johnson & Johnson, and from Stryker.


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