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About the Ethics Group

The mission of the Ethics Group is to improve patient care and the health of the public by examining and promoting physician professionalism. We strive to meet this challenge through the establishment of ethics policies that provide guidance for practicing physicians, the development of educational programs that inform physicians on means to address ethical and professional challenges, and the pursuit of rigorous and scholarly research that examines critical ethical issues in medicine. The Ethics group is organized into three parts: Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, Ethics Resource Center, and Institute for Ethics.

Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs
The Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) develops ethics policy for the AMA. Composed of seven practicing physicians, a resident or fellow, and a medical student, the Council prepares reports that analyze and address timely ethical issues that confront physicians and the medical profession. Upon deliberation and approval by the AMA's House of Delegates, the recommendations put forth in CEJA Reports become official policy of the Association. These recommendations ultimately serve as the basis for updating the AMA's Code of Medical Ethics, widely recognized as the most comprehensive guide for physicians who strive to practice ethically. In addition, the Council has judicial responsibilities, which includes appellate jurisdiction over physician members' appeals of ethics-related decisions made by state and specialty medical societies.

Ethics Resource Center
The Ethics Resource Center develops practical solutions for physicians who are confronted with ethical challenges in every stage of their professional careers. Through educational and outreach programs, including a variety of continuing medical education (CME) courses, the Center provides medical students, residents, and practicing physicians with the necessary skills and tools to address these challenges in a changing medical environment. The Center also serves as a resource for our colleagues throughout organized medicine. By establishing better communication and coordination of activities between medical societies in the Federation, the Center staff strive to collaborate with their counterparts across organized medicine on outreach initiatives that promote the public's trust in the medical profession.

Institute for Ethics
The Institute for Ethics is an academic research and training center on ethics in health care. Uniquely situated within the nation's largest and most influential medical professional association, the Institute is able to convene a wide array of stakeholders and experts in pursuit of its broad research agenda. Institute staff conduct research and publish peer-reviewed articles on emerging ethical issues in areas such as professionalism and accountability, public health preparedness, health care communication and health information privacy. Many of the research activities of the Institute serve as a foundation for the policy work of CEJA and the educational programs of the Ethics Resource Center.