AMA Updates Ethics Code

For the first time in more than 50 years the American Medical Association (AMA) has updated its code of ethics.

The AMA Principles are standards of coduct that define the ethical behavior of physicians in all specialties.

AMA Principles of Medical Ethics

A physician shall:

  1. Be dedicated to providing competent medical care, with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
  2. Uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or engaging in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.
  3. Respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements which are contrary to the best interests of the patient.
  4. Respect the rights of  patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and  safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law.
  5. Ccntinue to study, apply, and advance scientific knowledge, maintain a commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when indicated.
  6. In the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical care.
  7. Recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to the improvement of the community and the betterment of public health.
  8. While caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.
  9. Support access to medical care for all people.