The American Medical Writers
Association (AMWA) is an educational organization that promotes excellence in
medical communication and recommends principles of conduct for its members.
These principles take into account the important role of medical
communicators in writing, editing, and developing materials in various media and
the potential of the products of their efforts to inform, educate, and influence
audiences. To uphold the dignity and honor of their profession and of AMWA,
medical communicators should accept these ethical principles and engage only
in activities that bring credit to their profession, to AMWA, and to themselves.
Principle 1. Medical communicators should recognize and
observe statutes and regulations pertaining to the materials they write, edit,
or otherwise develop.
Principle 2. Medical communicators should apply objectivity,
scientific accuracy and rigor, and fair balance while conveying pertinent
information in all media.
Principle 3. Medical communicators should write, edit, or
participate in the development of information that meets the highest
professional standards, whether or not such materials come under the purview of
any regulatory agency. They should attempt to prevent the perpetuation of
incorrect information. Medical communicators should accept assignments only when
working in collaboration with a qualified specialist in the area, or when they
are adequately prepared to undertake the assignments by training, experience, or
Principle 4. Medical communicators should work only under
conditions or terms that allow proper application of their judgment and skills.
They should refuse to participate in assignments that require unethical or
Principle 5. Medical communicators should expand and perfect
their professional knowledge and communications skills.
Principle 6. Medical communicators should respect the
confidential nature of materials provided to them. They should not divulge,
without permission, any patent, proprietary, patient, or otherwise confidential
Principle 7. Medical communicators should expect and accept
fair and reasonable remuneration and acknowledgment for their services. They
should honor the terms of any contract or agreements into which they enter.
Principle 8. Medical communicators should consider their
membership in AMWA an honor and a trust. They should conduct themselves
accordingly in their professional interactions.
Original: Eric W. Martin, PhD 1973
First revision: June 1989
revision: April 1994
Third revision: June 2008