The Ama Code Of Ethics : Universal Health Care Access

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On the AMA Code of Ethics: Universal Health Care Access The American Medical Association (AMA) published a Code of Ethics for Physicians that includes a list of certain principles physicians should follow in order to be good physicians, practicing in an ethical fashion. This list, which was first adopted in June of 1957 and revised as recently as June of 2001, demonstrates some principles that are not universally accepted to be critical to the ethical practice of a physician. In particular, all physicians do not completely believe the claim that “A physician shall support access to medical care for all people” (Principles of Medical Ethics). Theorist, H. Tristam Engelhardt believes that the lack of access to care for some may be unfortunate, but it is not unfair and that this access does not need to be mandated, nor does believing it should be make you an ethical physician. In fact, Engelhardt supremely believes that by providing access of care to all, you will hurt certain patients that already have access to care, negating your function as a physician practicing beneficence. Engelhardt would retract this statement from the Principles of Ethics. However, this belief of and drive to implement access of care to all is critical to one’s job as a physician and it goes against core values of physicians to claim otherwise. Theorists such as Tom Beauchamp and Norman Daniels would agree that the universal access to health care is a critical component of the values physicians hold.
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