American Academy of Ophthalmology Web Site:
Original URL:

Ethics Program

The Academy seeks to share information on professional ethics and the standards for the ethical practice of ophthalmology with international members and societies. Ethics-specific educational resources and instructional programs have been developed for all practitioners who wish to uphold the historical traditions of the profession: serving the best interests of patients with competence, honesty and compassion.

For questions about the Academy’s ethics program, questions about an ethical issue or to share unique Codes of Ethics and/or methods of resolving ethical dilemmas, contact the members of the Ethics Committee.

The Academy’s ethics educational materials include:

Code of Ethics: A nine-page document defining eight aspirational Principles of Ethics and sixteen Rules of Ethics describing the mandatory and descriptive standards of minimally acceptable conduct for Academy fellows and members.

Ethics Advisory Opinions, Policy Statements and other publications: Documents that expand upon the rules of the Code of Ethics and offer case studies to illustrate ethical issues in real-life scenarios. 

Courses: “The Ethical Ophthalmologist Series” addresses specific ethical issues in case-study format in online, PDF and MP3 formats.

The Bettman Ethics Education Lecture Program: Named for the father of the Academy’s ethics program, this program provides an ethics lecture designed as a practical educational tool for residency training institutions as well as for state, regional, subspecialty and international societies. These lectures detail the Academy’s Code of Ethics and use case studies to teach practical problem solving while exploring larger ethical concepts in detail.

For more information about professional ethics, we recommend the following resources:

Thank you for your commitment to the Profession.