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February 26, 2014

A Unified Code of Ethics for Health ProfessionalsInsights From an IOM Workshop

Author Affiliations
  • 1American Medical Association, Chicago, Illinois
  • 2University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois
  • 3Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, and Sloan-Kettering Institute and Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network, New York, New York
  • 4American Psychological Association, Washington, DC
JAMA. 2014;311(8):799-800. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.504

A social contract is an agreement among members of a society to cooperate for social benefits. The most prominent example, around which Rousseau first described the social contract in 1762,1 is democratic governance, in which free citizens exchange some individual freedom for shared state protections. In democracies, a number of different structures and documents, such as laws and regulations, make the social contract tangible—and keep it open to debate and evolution.

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