The ethical aspects of sports medicine have hitherto received little scrutiny, in contrast to its legal implications, which have recently been subject to much greater discussion. However, the differences that are apparent between sports medicine and 'mainstream' areas of clinical practice can shed new light on a number of the central issues within health-care ethics. By means of hypothetical case studies, this paper seeks to examine some of these issues within a sports medicine context. Specific attention will be paid to the concepts of autonomy and paternalism, issues to do with truthfulness, and the question of conflicting professional loyalties. It is suggested that the ethics of sports medicine warrant further and more detailed examination.
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