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Ethics Timeline: 1847 to 1940

1847
Founding of AMA at Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia; (Founder Nathan Davis)

AMA Code of Medical Ethics written and published

1848
AMA notes the dangers of universal traffic in secret remedies and patent medicine

1849
AMA establishes a board to analyze quack remedies and nostrums and to enlighten the public in regard to the nature and dangerous tendencies of such remedies

1858
AMA establishes Committee on Ethics

1868
AMA Committee on Ethics strongly advocates recognition of regularly educated and qualified female physicians

1873
AMA Judicial Council founded to deal with ethical and constitutional controversies

1903
Minor changes were made to the 1847 Code and the title was changed to The Principles of Medical Ethics

1911
Judicial Council bylaws were amended, reducing the size of the Council to five

1912
The Principles of Medical Ethics was revised by the Judicial Council and adopted by the House of Delegates

1913
AMA establishes a "Propaganda Department" to gather and disseminate information concerning health fraud and quackery

1922
Judicial Council amended The Principles of Medical Ethics, outlawing the solicitation of patients by physicians, a policy that remained in effect until the new Principleswere adapted in 1980

1934
During the Depression, the Judicial Council amended the Principles by making it unethical for any physician to dispose of his or her services to any lay body, organization, group, or individual under the conditions that would permit any of them to receive a profit on the doctor's services

1937
AMA advocates county medical societies to help share in the care of poor patients