AMA Releases Revised Code of Medical Ethics

The American Medical Association (AMA) Code of Medical Ethics has been “modernized,” following a multi-year project to comprehensively review and update it. The AMA House of Delegates adopted the revised Code in June, after much deliberation and debate, and it was recently released.

The Code was created in 1847 and reprinted by medical societies around the world. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, it was the most commonly printed medical document in the English language. Today, the Code remains the only codification of professional conduct for all U.S. physicians, regardless of their medical specialty, practice type or location.

Ethics guidance is regularly added or amended in the AMA Code to reflect changes in medical science and societal expectations. As with any “living” document that it authored by different individuals over many decades, the Code became fragmented and unwieldy—which led the AMA to establish the modernization project.

A commemorative, leather-bound edition of the modernized AMA Code is available here.

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