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Books, Journals, New Media
November 15, 2000

EthicsThe American Medical Ethics Revolution: How the AMA's Code of Ethics Has Transformed Physicians' Relationships to Patients, Professionals, and Society

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 2000;284(19):2526. doi:10.1001/jama.284.19.2526-JBK1115-2-1

In 1847, the newly organized American Medical Association (AMA) adopted its first code of medical ethics. This code was transformed in the early part of the 20th century into a series of principles of medical ethics, the most recent version of which was adopted in 1980. Together with a 1990 statement on the patient-physician relation and a series of opinions of the AMA's Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs, these principles (and the 150-year history of efforts underlying them) represent one of the most notable examples of a profession's attempt to regulate itself by self-imposed ethical standards. This effort deserves serious attention, and the book under review is an important contribution.

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