Summary of the 1847 AMA Code of Ethics
Biomedical Ethics Sec. 02
The code of medical ethics was written with the intention of standardizing the expectation for ethical behavior throughout every professional medical setting within the United States. This collection of ethical principles was intended for physician and patient alike, so that there would be a thorough understanding of the expectations of both parties within the medical setting. Rules concerning the subject matter should be shaped according to the recommendation of experienced physicians, past and present, including Hippocrates. Importance is placed on medical case history which has, and will continue to, shape the ethical code, given that the knowledge acquired is passed down to current practicing medical professionals. If questions arise concerning the expectations between physicians and patients, between medical co-workers, or between the medical profession and the general public, the medical code of ethics should serve as a guideline as to how behavior should be conducted.
Physicians are expected to serve their patients in a variety of different ways. The first way is to apply their talents to respectfully assist the sick. Physicians are to treat cases with great detail and to keep records of that detail. However, they are not to share that information unless required to do so, complete confidentiality should be upheld. When meeting with a patient, the medical provider is to defend the patient’s spirit by only revealing necessary information, yet providing timely notice of danger when it is confirmed. Sometimes, visits and advice should be denied. For if they are unnecessary, yet still provided, anxiety could be created within the patient and the physician could be accused of having ulterior motives. Visits to patients who seem to be incurable should not be considered unnecessary, though. Physicians should continue to treat these patients, to...
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