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Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs

The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) is one of the three components of the Ethics Group of the American Medical Association.

CEJA has two key responsibilities:

  • To maintain and update the 165-year-old Code of Medical Ethics, through its policy development function
  • To promote adherence to the professional ethical standards set out in the Code through its judicial function
Ethics Policy Development

First developed in 1847, the AMA Code of Medical Ethics is widely recognized as the most comprehensive guide for physicians who strive to practice ethically. The Code is a living document, regularly updated through the reports and opinions of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, which analyze and address timely ethical issues confronting physicians and the medical profession.

CEJA's Judicial Function

The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) promotes adherence to high standards of ethical professionalism through its disciplinary function. Under AMA’s Constitution and Bylaws, CEJA is charged with evaluating physicians’ fitness for membership in the American Medical Association.

CEJA’s judicial responsibilities include appellate jurisdication over members’ appeals of ethics-related decisions made by state and specialty medical societies. 

About CEJA and History of AMA Ethics

The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) is composed of seven practicing physicians, a resident or fellow, and a medical student. Physician-members serve single terms of seven years; the resident/fellow serves a three-year term. The student-member serves a two-year term during the individual’s clinical years of undergraduate medical education.

  • Members of CEJA - A list of current members of the AMA’s Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
  • Bylaws - AMA Bylaws pertaining to the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
  • General rules - Governing rules of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
  • Contact information - Contact information for CEJA and information on obtaining copies of CEJA reports
  • History of AMA ethics - Timelines of ethics milestones at the AMA

Modernizing the Code of Medical Ethics

In 2008, the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) launched a major project to critically review and update the AMA Code of Medical Ethics.

The council reviewed the Code for relevance, timeliness, clarity and consistency across topics and incorporated feedback from across the medical community to produce an updated Code with a more intuitive chapter structure. Then, chapter by chapter, CEJA revised the Code, working conservatively to ensure the only changes were those that were absolutely necessary for the guidance to remain relevant in the face of changes in biomedical science and conditions of medical practice.

  • Read the history of the project in CEJA’s informational reports to the House of Delegates.
  • Visit CEJA’s online forum to review and comment on draft chapters. (AMA member ID/password required.)