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April 23, 1997

'Doing What Is Best for Patients': A Sesquicentennial Rededication

JAMA. 1997;277(16):1265-1268. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540400015004

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EMPHASIZING professionalism, participants in the conference entitled "Ethics and American Medicine: History, Change, and Challenge" rededicated themselves, in a phrase used by American Medical Association (AMA) President Daniel H. Johnson, MD, in his welcoming address and reiterated throughout the event, to "doing what is best for patients." The symposium, held last month in Philadelphia, Pa, where the association was founded, commemorated the AMA's 1847 Code of Ethics and initiated a year-long sesquicentennial celebration.

In addition to the AMA, the meeting was also sponsored by the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, College of Physicians of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences, and Philadelphia County Medical Society.

As befits such an occasion, looks back to the past afforded new insights to guide the future. What Johnson called "a dream team of medical ethicists" addressed such issues as the relevance for today and tomorrow of the AMA Code