The new Ethics Manual revisits and expands on issues of earlier editions, such as patient privacy and confidentiality, complementary and alternative medicine, end-of-life care, physician-assisted suicide, decisions about reproduction, managed care ethics, and research ethics. Its new topics include sections on chaperones and privacy, gifts from patients, selling products out of the office, health and human rights, patient safety, strikes and joint actions, and consultation and shared care.
The ACP Ethics Manual is written primarily for doctors of internal medicine but has been widely used by other physicians and is often cited in medical and ethical literature. The first ACP Ethics Manual was published in 1984. This edition is an update of the 1998 fourth edition.
"ACP's Ethics Manual provides an ethical framework to help physicians make complex decisions related to clinical practice and medical research in a changing environment," said William E. Golden, MD, ACP Regent and chair of the ACP ethics and human rights committee that developed the new manual.
"Many aspects of medicine are fundamental and timeless, and those need to be regularly reaffirmed," says Lois Snyder, JD, director of the ACP's Center for Ethics and Professionalism and staff author of the manual. "Medical practice and the context in which care is delivered obviously don't stand still, though. The fifth edition of the Ethics Manual examines emerging issues in medical ethics faced by doctors and their patients and revisits older issues that are still pertinent."
The fifth revision of the Ethics Manual was developed by the ACP ethics and human rights committee over the course of two years. Sections were reviewed by more than 24 experts.