AMA Adopts WMA Declaration of Geneva

The AMA has adopted the World Medical Association's (WMA) Declaration of Geneva as a contemporary companion to the 2,500-year-old Hippocratic Oath for doctors to declare their commitment to their profession, their patients, and humanity.

The AMA Executive Council has formally embraced the Declaration as AMA policy, with the new voluntary vow setting 'guiding principles around becoming a medical practitioner'.

AMA President Dr Mukesh Haikerwal said today he is confident that Australian doctors would welcome the Declaration at a time when there are great challenges to the integrity and independence of the medical profession.

"The Declaration is a short, sharp summary of all that is good about being a doctor in the 21st Century," Dr Haikerwal said.

"It reinforces the independence of the medical profession and it spells out clearly our duty and dedication to our patients and our respect for all human life.

"While the Hippocratic Oath sets out the historical and philosophical roles of the medical profession, the WMA's Declaration of Geneva encapsulates the basic noble principles and values of being a doctor.

"Together, they are a comprehensive affirmation of the value of our profession, and they complement the guidance on ethical standards and professionalism provided by the AMA's Code of Ethics."

Declaration of Geneva (WMA, 2006)

At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;

I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;

I will practise my profession with conscience and dignity;

The health of my patient will be my first consideration;

I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;

I will maintain, by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;

My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;

I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;

I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;

I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;

I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

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