With this statement, Sigerist is trying to say that new technological advancements in medicine are being rejected by certain parts of society. There could many reasons for this e.g. cultural or personal beliefs.

Our technology has allowed us to carry out blood transfusions with ease. However, Jehovah’s Witnesses refuse any treatments that involve blood transfusion from one person to another. There are many ethical and legal issues involved in a situation where a patient, whose condition is life-threatening, is refusing a blood transfusion. The physician may be in a dilemma. In such a case, GMC’s rule “make the care of your patient your primary concern” may contradict its other rule “you must respect a competent patient’s decision to refuse an investigation or treatment, even if you think their decision is wrong or irrational”.`
The use of embryonic stem cells is also rejected by some people as it involves destroying an early embryo which means potentially destroying a human life. On one hand, you can help treat diseases like diabetes but on the other hand, you are destroying human life. There is much controversy regarding this.

To address such problems, scientists, doctors and researchers must find new methods of solving ethical problems such as the ones mentioned above. Researchers have been studying ways to obtain embryonic stem cells without interfering with the life of the embryo. In order to tackle the problem of blood transfusion, doctors have looked towards methods such as cell salvage and vasoconstriction. Together with this, erythropoietin is used which stimulates red blood cell production for patients who are in need of blood transfusion due to anaemia.

Alternatives to such treatments must be found so that the rule “make the care of your patient your primary concern” is upheld.