AMA to reinstate ethics to its place in medicine’

America’s doctors are under fire and they know it. Similar to its founding 150 years ago, the American Medical Association’s membership is taking a candid look at itself and deciding to place a renewed emphasis on ethical practice. "We must reinstate ethics to its time-honored placed in medicine," saysLinda Emanuel, MD, PhD, the AMA’s new vice president for ethics standards and director of the new Institute for Ethics.

The institute will focus on ethical and practical issues in end-of-life care, genetics, managed care, and professionalism. It will work in conjunction with the AMA’s Council on Judicial Affairs. It will coordinate seminars and professional conferences and develop professional standards and guidelines. As one of its first projects, Emanuel says, the institute will begin assessing all health care providers to determine how well they meet ethical standards.

Report cards on all providers will be issued to the public with a limited grace period for early problems. "Any organization that influences the care of the public should be held accountable to ethical standards and we intend to make sure that every provider meets ethical standards of care," says Emanuel.