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Complete Question Explanation
(See the complete passage discussion here: lsat/viewtopic.php?t=7465)

The correct answer choice is (D)

You might need to refer back to the passage to locate the core value that most reformers would
accept. Because the fi rst paragraph primarily addressed the critics, you should expect that the views
of reformers would appear in the second paragraph. Reformers are mentioned specifi cally in line 49,
and the context of the reference is lines 47-52, which just happens to express a signifi cant part of the
author’s main idea.

Answer choice (A): The author’s arguments are based on the belief that the core value of benefi cence
was important to “most reformers.” The notion of a universal community is mentioned in lines 5-6,
but that is the wrong section of the passage to fi nd the views of reformers.

Answer choice (B): Since improvements in science actually induced the need for some modifi cation
or re-interpretation of the oath (such as in the case of surgery), and the author stated that benefi cence
and professionalism were at the heart of the oath, not advancement, so this response is unsupported.

Note that the typical perception of modern day readers that “technology is always good.” This
answer appeals to that very belief, and is attractive for that reason. However, an argument can be
made that you can actually infer that to some extent scientifi c improvement can be contrary to the
oath, because a clear implication of the provision against “cutting for the stone” is that patients are
not to be subjugated to dangers simply because of a physician’s quest for knowledge.

Answer choice (C): The passage does not cite this value, so you should not select this response.

Even though an unwary test taker who confuses the issue on the point of market forces (lines 17-
24) might select this response on the conclusion that these critics are responding specifi cally against
a value of universal care, that test taker should still manage to eliminate this response because the
question asked for a point of agreement, not one of disagreement.

Answer choice (D): This is the correct answer choice. The author plainly states this sentiment in
lines 47-52.

Answer choice (E): This choice might seem attractive because the author does state that certain core
values are held by most reformers. However, this choice is far too broad as it could refer to many of
the moral values that the author believes can be allowed to change, while still allowing for the central
values of benefi cence and professionalism. Answer choice (D) is much better than this response,
because that choice very clearly refers to a specifi c core value that the author mentioned.
  • Posts: 37
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Hello Powerscore staff,

I got this question wrong because I thought reformers = critics - the people who criticized the traditional Hippocratic oath were the ones who wanted to reform it. I know that on line 49 it literally pointed out the "reformers" ' view. However, I feel like the whole passage was just 1) author laying out the principle; 2) crtics view; 3), author defending the principle mostly - only need peripheral reinterpretation of traditional wording - therefore I did not really see reformers as a notable group of people. Would anyone mind explaining what kind of role exactly are reformers playing here? Are they the same people that the author represents? Or are they critics (seems like they are not).

I hope I did not make this more confusing. If so apologies ahead!!

Thank you!!
 Jeremy Press
PowerScore Staff
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Hi oli,

You're right that the "most reformers" mentioned in line 49, as well as in the stem of this question, are the critics of the Hippocratic Oath who think the Oath is outdated. The reference to those reformers in line 49 clues us in to the "value" that this question stem is referring to. The author of the passage refers in line 48 to the core value of "beneficence," and states that this value does not conflict with the purposes of would-be reformers of the Oath. "Beneficence" is thus the value that the question stem wants you to identify. Now, unfortunately none of the answer choices uses the term "beneficence," so we have to look to the context (the lines immediately before this reference) to understand what the author means by the term: it's a value that serves the need of patients "for assurance that physicians will pursue appropriate goals in treatment." In other words, it's a value connected to what a physician does for the patient's benefit, which is what answer choice D states.

I hope this helps!


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