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American College of Emergency Physicians Ethics Manual. Ann Emerg Med 1991 Oct;20(10):1153-62



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0026044834   12 Citations


Ethical concerns are a major part of the clinical practice of emergency medicine. The emergency physician must make hard choices, not only with regard to the scientific/technical aspects but also with regard to the moral aspects of caring for emergency patients. By the nature of the specialty, emergency physicians face ethical dilemmas often requiring prompt decisions with limited information. This manual identifies important moral principles and values in emergency medicine. The underlying assumption is that a knowledge of moral principles and ethical values helps the emergency physician make responsible moral choices. Neither the scientific nor the moral aspects of clinical decision making can be reduced to simple formulas. Nevertheless, decisions must be made. Emergency physicians should, therefore, be cognizant of the ethical principles that are important for emergency medicine, understand the process of ethical reasoning, and be capable of making rational moral decisions based on a stable framework of values.


Arthur R. Derse MD, JD Director, Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Biomedical Research
Codes of Ethics
Emergency Medicine
Ethics, Medical
Interprofessional Relations
Patient Selection
Personal Autonomy
Physician-Patient Relations
Resource Allocation
Tissue and Organ Procurement
United States
Withholding Treatment