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Code of Ethics

WHEREAS, The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed primarily for the benefit of the patient; and

WHEREAS, As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize responsibility not only to patients, but also to society, to other health professionals and to self; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the following Code of Ethics be adopted by the Illinois State Medical Society not as laws, but standards of conduct that define the essentials of honorable behavior for the physician:

  1. A physician shall be dedicated to providing competent medical service with compassion and respect for human dignity and rights.
  1. A physician shall uphold the standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional interactions, and strive to report physicians deficient in character or competence, or those who engage in fraud or deception, to appropriate entities.
  1. A physician shall respect the law and also recognize a responsibility to seek changes in those requirements that are contrary to the best interest of the patient.
  1. A physician shall respect the rights of patients, colleagues, and other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences and privacy, within the constraints of the law.
  1. A physician shall continue to study, apply and advance scientific knowledge, maintain commitment to medical education, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public, obtain consultation, and use the talents of other health professionals when indicated.
  1. A physician shall, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical service.
  1. A physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in activities contributing to an improved community and the betterment of public health.
  1. A physician shall, while caring for a patient, regard responsibility to the patient as paramount.
  1. A physician shall support access to medical care for all people. 

"Ethical standards are the foundation of a profession. As one profession or House of Medicine, the ISMS and AMA have identical ethical standards."

Adopted by the Illinois State Medical Society
House of Delegates
November 1981
Revised 2002

Click here to view the ISMS Constitution and Bylaws.



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