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Guidelines and Policies

AMA’s Code of Medical Ethics
American Medical Association code of ethics

AMA Code of Ethics Australia
Australian Medical Association  (AMA)
The AMA Code of Ethics articulates and promotes a body of ethical principles to guide doctors’ conduct in their relationships with patients, colleagues and society.

AMA Code of Ethics – 2004. Editorially Revised 2006
Australian Medical Association (AMA)

A practical guide to clinical ethics support
UK Clinical Ethics Network

Code of ethics
Canadian Medical Association

Code of Ethics for the New Zealand Medical Profession [PDF]
New Zealand Medical Association

Code of Professional Conduct [PDF]    NSW
Medical Council of NSW
Outlines the duties of a doctor registered with the NSW Medical Board, including maintaining professional competence, what to do if things go wrong or when a patient dies.

Currently valid guidelines
Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

Good Medical Practice: A code of conduct for Doctors in Australia All
Australian Medical Council
Sets out the principles that characterise good medical practice and makes explicit the standards of ethical and professional conduct expected of doctors by their professional peers and the community.

Good Medical Practice UK
General Medical Council
Good Medical Practice sets out the principles and values on which good practice is founded; these principles together describe medical professionalism in action. The guidance is addressed to doctors, but it is also intended to let the public know what they can expect from doctors.

Health and research ethics guidelines

List of ethical guidance
General Medical Council UK

Medical Ethics Manual
World Medical Association

Provides guidelines for ethical practice in areas including post-coma unresponsiveness, organ donation, privacy and genetic testing as well as links to legislation and reports.

Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists Code of Ethics [PDF]    Australia
Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists


Australian Legal Information Institute (Austlii)

Comprehensive Free Source of Australian legal material – all legislation, court and tribunal cases and a selection of journal articles, law reform reports, treaties and so forth.

Bioethics Legislation in Australia
Southern Cross Bioethics Institute


Breen v Williams (1996) 186 CLR 71
Jurisdiction: Cth
The doctor – patient relationship can be characterised as a contractual relationship.

Patel v The Queen [2012] HCA 29 (24 August 2012)
Jurisdiction: Cth
High Court appeal re recent case of alleged criminal negligence by a Director of Surgery in QLD.

R v Pegios [2008] NSWDC 104
Jurisdiction: NSW
Application of British Case law on criminal negligence of a doctor.

Rogers v Whitaker (1992) 175 CLR 479
Jurisdiction: Cth
Provides an example of the recognition of the doctor – patient relationship in tort law (negligence).

Sidaway v Board of Governors of Bethlem Royal Hospital [1985] AC 871 at 904
Jurisdiction: England
The doctor – patient relationship can be characterised as a contractual relationship.

Papers, Reports and Books

Australian Health Law Bulletin
Provides latest information and analysis on developments in health law. 10 issues annually.

Global Ethics and Law
UQ School of Medicine

Journal of Law and Medicine
Publishes articles that concern legal, medical and bioethical issues.

The Law Handbook. Your Practical Guide to the Law in New South Wales
State Library of NSW
Legal Information Access Centre Law Handbook
‘Health Law’ Doctor Patient Relationship.

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