Doctors in court, honour, and professional ethics: two scandals in Imperial Germany.
Comparing two public medical affairs which involved disciplinary proceedings and libel actions, one from Bavaria and one from Prussia, this article analyzes the dynamics behind legal conflicts over doctors' professional ethics in Imperial Germany. In both the case of Dr Maurice Hutzler, who committed suicide after conflicts with senior colleagues at the Gisela Children's Hospital and a sentence of the court of honour of the Munich Medical District Society, and the Berlin "patient trade" affair, in which the medical professors Ernst von Leyden, Hermann Senator, Karl Anton Ewald and Carl Posner were accused of having made payments to middlemen for bringing them lucrative private patients, notions of personal and professional honour played a central role. The Munich case highlighted shortcomings of the Bavarian medical court of honour system, which was less developed than its Prussian counterpart. The analysis of the two cases suggests that the ethics of medical practice in early twentieth-century Germany should be viewed as part of a culture of honour. (+info)