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The Charter on Medical Professionalism and the Limits of Medical Power

Stanley J. Reiser, MD, MPA, PhD; and Ronald S. Banner, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; Houston, TX 77225; and Philadelphia, PA 19115.

Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.

Requests for Single Reprints: Stanley J. Reiser, MD, MPA, PhD, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6431 Fannin, Box 20708, Houston, TX 77225; e-mail, Stanley.J.Reiser@uth.tmc.edu.

Current Author Addresses: Dr. Reiser: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, 6431 Fannin, Box 20708, Houston, TX 77225.

Dr. Banner: 2050 Welsh Road, Philadelphia, PA 19115.

Ann Intern Med. 2003;138(10):844-846. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-138-10-200305200-00014
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Ethical codes are landmarks of medicine's professional development. They embody the values of the time in which they are written and the culture from which they spring. They provide an ethical structure to govern the practices of physicians and physicians' relationships with patients, society, and each other. They create the doctor's moral identity. The Hippocratic Oath (circa 400 BCE) and the ethical codes of the American Medical Association (written between 1847 to 1980) are examples of these works. Joining this group is the Charter on Medical Professionalism, written under the auspices of internal medicine organizations in the United States and Europe (1).

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