The Ethics Committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology was established on Jan 1,1984, at which time the Code of Ethics1 took effect. Two ad hoc committees, established by the Board of the Academy, convened to frame the Code in 1981. Between 1981 and 1984, the Code was drafted and redrafted in response to numerous suggestions by members and others. The membership of the Academy participated in a referendum on the Code, with acceptance by the vast majority (94%) of voting members. The Code was reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission, and an advisory opinion was rendered in 1983. The advisory opinion, the first ever rendered to a health sciences body, permitted the Academy to implement and enforce the Code without excessive anxiety about restraint of trade litigation.
Jerome Bettman, Sr, MD, chaired the committees that wrote the Code (in its several iterations). He shepherded the Code through the
Beauchamp GR. The Ethics Committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Arch Ophthalmol. 1989;107(1):33-34. doi:10.1001/archopht.1989.01070010035022