Media release

WMA Medical Ethics Day

The AMA is today encouraging doctors to reflect on the importance of medical ethics as part of the World Medical Association’s (WMA) annual Medical Ethics Day.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said today that Medical Ethics Day is a way for the global medical community to recognise and promote the important role of ethics in medicine.

“With the privilege of being a doctor comes great responsibility, and great scrutiny,” Dr Gannon said.

“Patients expect high ethical standards from their doctors.

“Ethics is an integral part of everyday medicine, and is fundamental to the relationship that doctors have with patients.

“Doctors must act in a way that ensures patients have all the information to make their own decisions with confidentially and respect.

“The medical professional must uphold a set of core values that places patients first.”

The AMA is currently reviewing and updating the AMA Code of Ethics to guide doctors in their relationships with patients, colleagues, and society.

The AMA has developed a diverse range of ethics-focussed Position Statements, covering issues such as medical professionalism; professional conduct; patient care and safety; conscientious objection; reproductive health; end of life care; genetic issues; organ donation; public health emergencies; asylum seekers and refugees; aged care; custodial settings; and stewardship.

The AMA also has a range of ethics and medico-legal Guidelines on issues including disclosure of medical records assessments, medical witnesses, and patient follow-up.

The AMA has adopted Declarations from the WMA, including professional autonomy and clinical independence; the role of medical neutrality in times of armed conflict; and condemning medical participation in any form of torture, cruel or inhumane treatment,or punishment.

The current AMA Code of Ethics is available at

The Position Statements and Guidelines are available at

18 September 2016

CONTACT:        Kirsty Waterford                02 6270 5464 / 0427 209 753

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