AMA: Ethics and Professionalism
The Australian Medical Association (AMA) works to promote and advance the public health, and an important part of that is promoting the achievement and maintenance of high clinical and ethical standards in medical practice.
As the peak professional body of doctors in Australia, the AMA promotes and advances ethical behaviour by the medical profession, and seeks to protect the integrity and independence of the doctor-patient relationship.
Two important documents in relation to this are the AMA's Code of Ethics and the Declaration of Geneva, both of which members agree to abide by.
The AMA Code of Ethics articulates and promotes a body of ethical principles to guide doctors' conduct in their relationships with patients, colleagues and society.
This Code has grown out of other similar ethical codes stretching back into history including the Hippocratic Oath.
Because of their special knowledge and expertise, doctors have a responsibility to improve and maintain the health of their patients who, either in a vulnerable state of illness or for the maintenance of their health, entrust themselves to medical care.
The doctor-patient relationship is itself a partnership based on mutual respect and collaboration. Within the partnership, both the doctor and the patient have rights as well as responsibilities.
Changes in society, science and the law constantly raise new ethical issues and may challenge existing ethical perspectives.
The AMA accepts the responsibility for setting the standards of ethical behaviour expected of doctors.
A special Declaration of Geneva Certificate is available for AMA members at the link below.
Members are encouraged to celebrate these important princliples by displaying a copy of the certificate in your workplace.