THE COUNCIL on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association (AMA) recognizes the growing crisis created by the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as a crucial health problem involving the physician's ethical responsibility to his patients and to society. The House of Delegates adopted Report YY (1987 Annual Meeting) of the Board of Trustees, which provides excellent guidance for a responsible public policy. As stated therein, AIDS patients are entitled to competent medical service with compassion and respect for human dignity and to the safeguard of their confidences within the constraints of the law. Those persons who are afflicted with the disease or who are seropositive have the right to be free from discrimination.
A physician may not ethically refuse to treat a patient whose condition is within the physician's current realm of competence solely because the patient is seropositive. The tradition of the AMA, since its organization in
Burkhart JH, Patterson RH, Dickey NW, et al. Ethical Issues Involved in the Growing AIDS Crisis. JAMA. 1988;259(9):1360–1361. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720090050034
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