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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Revised Declaration of Geneva

Ramin Walter Parsa-Parsi
JAMA. 2017;318(20):1971-1972.

Here is an excerpt:

The most notable difference between the Declaration of Geneva and other key ethical documents, such as the WMA’s Declaration of Helsinki: Ethical Principles for Medical Research Involving Human Subjects and the Declaration of Taipei on Ethical Considerations Regarding Health Databases and Biobanks, was determined to be the lack of overt recognition of patient autonomy, despite references to the physician’s obligation to exercise respect, beneficence, and medical confidentiality toward his or her patient(s). To address this difference, the workgroup, informed by other WMA members, ethical advisors, and other experts, recommended adding the following clause: “I WILL RESPECT the autonomy and dignity of my patient.” In addition, to highlight the importance of patient self-determination as one of the key cornerstones of medical ethics, the workgroup also recommended shifting all new and existing paragraphs focused on patients’ rights to the beginning of the document, followed by clauses relating to other professional obligations.

To more explicitly invoke the standards of ethical and professional conduct expected of physicians by their patients and peers, the clause “I WILL PRACTISE my profession with conscience and dignity” was augmented to include the wording “and in accordance with good medical practice.”

The article and the Declaration can be found here.