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Narrative ethics has recently been advanced as an alternative to more "principled" and "theoretical" approaches to medical ethics. This turn prompts reflection on the distinctive activity of writing medical ethics. When writing medical ethics is recognized as a distinct activity, the forms of care it accomplishes can be distinguished from medical care. This distinction enables analysis of how caring for one's own needs as a writer of medical ethics is in productive tension with the ends of caring in medicine. One important good of writing medical ethics is that the act of writing forces one to reflect on the common mortal reality that is a condition of medical experience. Because it provides occasions for reflection on one's own mortality, medical ethics may no longer need immediate medical application in order to claim its contribution to caring.