Bioethical debate regarding gyms’ need for medical certificates for amateur sportsmen

  • Dario Palhares Universidade de Brasília
  • Flávia Squinca Universidade de Brasília
  • Antônio Carlos Rodrigues Universidade de Brasília


Sports Medicine comprises two branches: one, related to professional athletes and the other, related to the general population vis a vis sports and physical activity. The bioethical conflicts involving professional athletes are different from those of amateur practitioners. There is a constant deliberation related to the requirement of medical evaluation before admission to a gym. There are regional laws that make the medical certificate an obligatory document. It is observed that in the creation of these laws, the arguments are guided by a way to transfer responsibility from the gym to the physician who has attended the client. In a sense, the laws that indiscriminately require medical certificates subvert the ethics of the medical practice because the medical officer is not capable to assure that a given patient has no medical issue; instead the medical work is to try to identify the cause to a complaint. The gyms provide clients with orientation and supervision by providing them with qualified professionals. Although the need for medical certificates for everybody is unethical, a detailed medical evaluation is needed for gym clients who may present clinical manifestations during exercise or have some specific clinical conditions.
Keywords sports medicine, ethics, medical certificate
How to Cite
Palhares, D., Squinca, F., & Rodrigues, A. (2016). Bioethical debate regarding gyms’ need for medical certificates for amateur sportsmen. Acta Bioethica, 22(1). Retrieved from