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February 28, 1986

Education in Ethicsn for Health Professionals

JAMA. 1986;255(8):1020. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370080042019

To the Editor.—  I read with great interest the SPECIAL COMMUNICATION entitled "Health Policy Agenda for the American People: Phase I: The Principles."1 I was surprised to see that although the document in several places includes either direct or indirect references to ethical principles and the ethical dimensions of the topics addressed by the various work groups, the principles found in group II (education principles) do not direct that ethics should be taught in education programs for the health professional.The agenda acknowledges the need to address ethical considerations in the areas of research, systems of health care provision, and evaluation, assessment, and control. However, if health care professionals do not understand ethics because their educational preparation does not require the study of ethics, health care personnel will be ill-prepared to address these ethical issues and the health care personnel group should include as one of its education principles