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AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION PRESS
PRINCIPLES OF MEDICAL ETHICS
PREFACE. At the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, held in New Orleans, the House of Delegates unanimously adopted, on May 7, 1903, the “Principles of Medical Ethics” recommended by its committee, and ordered that the following extract from the report of the Special Committee on Revision of the Code of Medical Ethics be printed as an explanatory preface to these “Principles":
“The caption 'Principles of Medical Ethics' has been substituted for 'Code of Medical Ethics.' Inasmuch as the American Medical Association may be conceived to hold a relation to the constituent state associations analogous to that of the United States through its constitution to the several states, the committee deemed it wiser to formulate the principles of medical ethics without definite reference to code or penalties. Large' discretionary powers are thus left to the respective state and territorial societies to form such codes and establish such rules for the professional conduct of their members as they may consider proper, provided, of course, that there shall be no in. fringement of the established ethical principles of this Association."
THB American Medical Association promulgates as a
suggestive and advisory document the following:
The Duties of Physicians to Their Patients.
THE PHYSICIAN'S RESPONSIBILITY. SECTION 1.-Physicians should not only be ever ready to obey the calls of the sick and the injured, but should be mindful of the high character of their mission and of the responsibilities they must incur in the discharge of momentous duties. In their ministrations they should never forget that the comfort, the health and the lives of those entrusted to their care depend on skill, attention and fidelity. In deportment they should unite tenderness, cheerfulness and firmness, and thus inspire all sufferers with gratitude, respect and confidence. These observations are the more sacred because, generally, the only tribunal to adjudge penalties for unkindness, carelessness or neg. lect is their own conscience.
HUMANITY, DELICACY AND SECRECY NEEDED.
SEC. 2.--Every patient committed to the charge of a physician should be treated with attention and humanity, and reasonable indul