AMA Journal of Ethics. November 2015, Volume 17, Number 11: 1044-1045.
The Code Says
AMA Code of Medical Ethics’ Opinion on Physician Stewardship
The AMA Code of Medical Ethics’ opinion on physician stewardship.
Opinion 9.0652 - Physician Stewardship of Health Care Resources
Physicians’ primary ethical obligation is to promote the well-being of individual patients. Physicians also have a long-recognized obligation to patients in general to promote public health and access to care. This obligation requires physicians to be prudent stewards of the shared societal resources with which they are entrusted. Managing health care resources responsibly for the benefit of all patients is compatible with physicians’ primary obligation to serve the interests of individual patients.
To fulfill their obligation to be prudent stewards of health care resources, physicians should:
Physicians are in a unique position to affect health care spending. But individual physicians alone cannot and should not be expected to address the systemic challenges of wisely managing health care resources. Medicine as a profession must create conditions for practice that make it feasible for individual physicians to be prudent stewards by:
Issued November 2012 based on the report “Physician Stewardship of Health Care Resources,” adopted June 2012.
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