The primary objective of the medical profession is to render service to humanity; reward or financial gain is a subordinate consideration. Under no circumstances may physicians place their own financial interests above the welfare of their patients.

Treatment or hospitalization that is willfully excessive or inadequate constitutes unethical practice. Physicians should not provide wasteful and unnecessary treatment that may cause needless expense solely for the physician’s financial benefit or for the benefit of a hospital or other health care organization with which the physician is affiliated.

Where the economic interests of the hospital, health care organization, or other entity are in conflict with patient welfare, patient welfare takes priority.

AMA Principles of Medical Ethics: II

Code of Medical Ethics: Financing and delivery of health care

Visit the Ethics main page to access additional Opinions, the Principles of Medical Ethics and more information about the Code of Medical Ethics.

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