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Ethics Manual: Fourth Edition

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American College of Physicians. Members of the Ethics and Human Rights Committee for the 1996-97 and 1997-98 terms who developed this fourth edition of the Manual were Lloyd W. Kitchens Jr., MD (Chair); Troyen A. Brennan, MD; Richard J. Carroll, MD; Cynthia L. Clagett, MD; Lee J. Dunn Jr., JD, LLM; Kenneth V. Eden, MD; Joanne Lynn, MD; Steven H. Miles, MD; Gail J. Povar, MD; David L. Schiedermayer, MD; Susan H. Thompson, MD; and James A. Tulsky, MD. Staff editors were Lois Snyder, JD, and Karine Morin, LLM. Additional staff contributions were made by Paul D. Conklin. Approved by the Board of Regents on 26 October 1997. Acknowledgments: The American College of Physicians and the ACP Ethics and Human Rights Committee are solely responsible for the contents of the Manual. Both thank former Committee members who made contributions to the development of this Manual through their reviews of drafts: Elias Abrutyn, MD; Samuel Asper, MD; Jeremiah A. Barondess, MD; Michael Bernstein, MD; Stuart Bondurant, MD; John F. Burnum, MD; Christine K. Cassel, MD; Errol D. Crook, MD; Harriet P. Dustan, MD; Saul J. Farber, MD; Daniel Federman, MD; Arthur Feinberg, MD; Norton J. Greenberger, MD; Eugene A. Hildreth, MD; Edwin P. Maynard, MD; John A. Mitas II, MC USN; Robert H. Moser, MD; Warren Point, MD; William A. Reynolds, MD; Lawrence Scherr, MD; Gerald E. Thomson, MD; Susan W. Tolle, MD; Richard W. Vilter, MD; and Ralph Wallerstein, MD. Requests for Reprints: Lois Snyder, JD, American College of Physicians, Independence Mall West, Sixth Street at Race, Philadelphia, PA 19106.


Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1998;128(7):576-594. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-128-7-199804010-00012
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Medicine, law, and social values are not static.Reexamining the ethical tenets of medical practice and their application in new circumstances is a necessary exercise. The fourth edition of the American College of Physicians Ethics Manual covers emerging issues in medical ethics and revisits old ones. It reflects on many of the ethical tensions faced by internists and their patients and attempts to shed light on how existing principles extend to emerging concerns. In addition, by reiterating ethical principles that have provided guidance in resolving past ethical problems, it may help physicians to avert future problems. The Manual is not a substitute for the experience and integrity of individual physicians, but it may serve as a reminder of the shared obligations and duties of the medical profession.

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