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October 1, 1997

Doing What's Best for Patients: 1957 and 1997-Reply

JAMA. 1997;278(13):1062. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550130036026

In Reply.  —Mr Kelly correctly notes the imperative to put health needs before professionals' self-interest. There is always the danger that this priority order is reversed; every professional and every professional organization must always be vigilant. This need for vigilance is what motivated the Sesquicentennial Conference, its theme, and its strong attendance.While Kelly is correct in noting that the Principles of Medical Ethics omit 2 important 1957 statements, he may have missed the Fundamental Elements of the Patient-Physician Relationship, reproduced below, which address the issues and without which the current Principles of Medical Ethics are not complete or properly read. Both are to be found in the volume that compiles the many ethics positions that together make up the current AMA Code of Medical Ethics.1The Fundamental Elements of the Patient-Physician Relationship:1. The patient has the right to receive information from physicians and to discuss the benefits, risks, and