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Medical Ethics

Common Topics & Resources

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"Physicians and the medical community must be committed to the compassionate, timely, and competent provision of care to dying patients and their families and effective communication with patients and families (Physicians, 2001a, 2001b). Patients rightfully expect their physicians to care for them as they live with eventually fatal illnesses. Good symptom control; ongoing commitment to serve the patient and family; and physical, psychological, and spiritual support are the hallmarks of high-quality end-of-life and hospice care. Care of patients near the end of life, however, has a moral, psychological, and interpersonal intensity that distinguishes it from most other clinical encounters. It is the physician's professional obligation to develop and maintain competency in end-of-life care."

American College of Physicians Ethics Manual. (2019). (A. C. o. Physicians, Ed. 7th Edition ed.). Annals of Internal Medicine. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M18-2160 

Physicians, A. C. o. (2001). Making medical decisions for a loved one at the end of life. . American College of Physicians. Retrieved March 12 from www.acponline.org/patients_families/end_of_life_issues/peace/ 

Physicians, A. C. o. (2001). Patient Education and Caring. American College of Physicians. Retrieved March 12 from www.acponline.org/patients_families/end_of_life_issues/peace/

Please ensure you are fully aware of these organizations' viewpoints if you plan to use their information as a source.

"The patient–physician relationship entails special obligations for the physician to serve the patient's interest because of the specialized knowledge that physicians possess, the confidential nature of the relationship, the vulnerability brought on by illness, and the imbalance of expertise and power between patient and physician. Physicians publicly profess that they will use their skills for the benefit of patients, not for other reasons, including their own benefit (Pellegrino & Relman, 1999). Physicians must uphold this declaration, as should their professional associations as communities of physicians that put patient welfare first (Pellegrino & Relman, 1999)."

American College of Physicians Ethics Manual. (2019). (American College of Physicians, Ed. 7th Edition ed.). Annals of Internal Medicine. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M18-2160

Pellegrino, E. D., & Relman, A. S. (1999, Sep 8). Professional medical associations: ethical and practical guidelines. Jama, 282(10), 984-986. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.282.10.984 

Please ensure you are fully aware of these organizations' viewpoints if you plan to use their information as a source.

"The ethical duty to disclose relevant information about human reproduction to the patient may conflict with the physician's personal moral standards on abortion, sterilization, contraception, or other reproductive services. A physician who objects to these services is not obligated to recommend, perform, or prescribe them. However, the physician has a duty to inform the patient about care options and alternatives or refer the patient for such information, so that the patient's rights are not constrained. Physicians unable to provide such information should transfer care as long as the health of the patient is not compromised."

American College of Physicians Ethics Manual. (2019). (American College of Physicians, Ed. 7th Edition ed.). Annals of Internal Medicine. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M18-2160

Please ensure you are fully aware of these organizations' viewpoints if you plan to use their information as a source.

"Medical progress and improved patient care depend on innovative and rigorous research, on honest communication of research results, and on continued evaluation of patient outcomes following implementation of research findings [...] Honesty and integrity must govern all types and stages of research, from the laboratory to randomized clinical trials, and from the initial design and grant application to publication of results and translation into practice. Institutional review boards (IRBs) must review and approve research involving human subjects to ensure consistency with ethical and regulatory standards, but IRB review does not obviate the investigator's responsibilities to uphold the ethical integrity of research [...] Contributing to generalizable knowledge that can improve human health should be the main motivation for scientific research. Personal recognition, public acclaim, or financial gain should not be primary motivating factors, and physicians should be aware of conflicting interests when participating in or referring patients to research studies."

American College of Physicians Ethics Manual. (2019). (A. C. o. Physicians, Ed. 7th Edition ed.). Annals of Internal Medicine. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M18-2160  

Please ensure you are fully aware of these organizations' viewpoints if you plan to use their information as a source.

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