Ethics

Code of Medical Ethics overview

Since its adoption at the founding meeting of the American Medical Association in 1847, the AMA Code of Medical Ethics has articulated the values to which physicians commit themselves as members of the medical profession.

Together, the Principles of Medical Ethics and the Opinions of the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs make up the Code. Review why the Code is important and read the Code Preface and Preamble.

AMA Code of Medical Ethics

Read opinions about patient and physician interactions, treatments and use of technologies, and professional relationships and self-regulation.

Principles of Medical Ethics

The nine Principles of Medical Ethics are the primary component of the Code. They describe the core ethical principles of the medical profession.

Chapter 1: Ethics of Patient-Physician Relationships

Doctor-patient relationships are strengthened by the practice of medical ethics, which can help you create better communication and health care decisions.

Chapter 2: Ethics of Consent, Communication & Decision Making

Help your patients make well-considered decisions about their care and treatment by reading up on medical ethics of consent.

Chapter 3: Ethics of Privacy, Confidentiality & Medical Records

Respecting patients’ privacy is crucial. Find out how patient confidentiality ethics build trust, foster thoughtful decision making and improve care.

Chapter 4: Ethics of Genetics & Reproductive Medicine

Genetic testing can provide valuable information to support informed decision making about personal health care options as well as reproductive choices.  

Chapter 5: Ethics of Caring for Patients at the End of Life

Find out how advance care planning can give patients peace of mind knowing that their physicians understand their wishes for care at the end of life.

Chapter 6: Ethics of Organ Procurement & Transplantation

The need for organs for transplantation far outstrips the supply. Efforts to increase donation must protect the interests of living and deceased donors. 

Chapter 7: Ethics of Medical Research & Innovation

Physicians who are involved in clinical research have special responsibilities to protect the rights, safety and welfare of research participants that include matters of study design, informed consent and selection of participants.

Chapter 8: Ethics for Physicians & the Health of the Community

A doctor's job doesn't stop at individual care. Find out how caring for the health of the community can also lead to better health for individual patients.

Chapter 9: Ethics of Professional Self-Regulation

As practicing clinicians, educators, professional colleagues, businessmen and citizens, physicians should hold one another to high standards of conduct.

Chapter 10: Ethics of Interprofessional Relationships

Find out how physicians commit themselves to high standards of ethics in their relationships with fellow health professionals.

Chapter 11: Ethics of Financing & Delivery of Health Care

Patient-physician relationships are influenced by changing payment systems and models for delivering care and thus physicians must find new ways to balance responsibilities to multiple stakeholders.