ACP releases 5th Edition of its respected ethics manual

04/08/05

PHILADELPHIA -- (April 5, 2005) The American College of Physicians (ACP) has published the fifth edition of its Ethics Manual. The ACP Ethics Manual appears in the April 5, 2005, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, published by ACP.

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. The manual was approved by the ACP Board of Regents in July 2004.

For further information about the ACP Ethics Manual, call Lois Snyder, JD, director of the ACP Center for Ethics and Professionalism (215-351-2835). The ACP Ethics Manual is available on the ACP Website at www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/142/7/560. Reprints of the manual as it appears in Annals of Internal Medicine are available from the Center for Ethics and Professionalism. A printed, pocket-sized book version is available from ACP customer service (215-351-2600; price: $9 for ACP members; $ 11 for non-members).

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical-specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 116,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, medical students, residents and fellows. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illnesses in adults, reflected in the organization's trademarked phrase "Doctors of Internal Medicine. Doctors for Adults." ACP publishes Annals of Internal Medicine, the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world.

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