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American Medical Association Principles of Medical Ethics
The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical
statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient. As a
member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility not
only to patients, but also to society, to other health professionals,
and to self. The following Principles adopted by the American Medical
Association are not laws, but standards of conduct that define the
essentials of honorable behavior for the physician.
Principles of Medical Ethics
- A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical
service with compassion and respect for human dignity.
- A physician shall deal honestly with patients and colleagues, and
strive to expose those physicians deficient in character or
competence, or who engage in fraud or deception.
- A physician shall respect the law and recognize a responsibility
to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best
interests of the patient.
- A physician shall respect the rights of patients, of colleagues,
and of other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient
confidences within the constraints of the law.
- A physician shall continue to study, apply, and advance scientific
knowledge, make relevant information available to patients,
colleagues, and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talent
of other health professionals when indicated.
- A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care,
except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to
associate, and the environment in which to provide medical services.
- A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in
activities contributing to an improved community.
Visit the American
Medical Association Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA)
Source: Code of Medical Ethics: Current Opinions With
Annotations © 1996 American Medical Association
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