Professing the Values of Medicine: The Modernized AMA Code of Medical Ethics

Brotherton, S., Kao, A., Crigger, B.J.
Submitted: September, 2016

The AMA Code was created in 1847 as a national code of ethics for physicians, the first of its kind for any profession anywhere in the world.1 Since its inception, the AMA Code has been a living document that has evolved and expanded as medicine and its social environment have changed. By the time the AMA Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs embarked on a systematic review of the AMA Code in 2008, it had come to encompass 220 separate opinions or ethics guidance for physicians on topics ranging from abortion to xenotransplantation. The AMA Code, over the years, became more fragmented and unwieldy. Opinions on individual topics were difficult to find; lacked a common narrative structure, which meant the underlying value motivating the guidance was not readily apparent; and were not always consistent in the guidance they offered or language they used.

Resource Type:
  • Issue Briefs/Reports
  • Medical Ethics