Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 32, Issue 10, pp 1136–1140 | Cite as

Ethical practice in Telehealth and Telemedicine

  • Danielle Chaet
  • Ron Clearfield
  • James E. Sabin
  • Kathryn Skimming
  • on behalf of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs American Medical Association
Review Paper


This article summarizes the report of the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs (CEJA) on ethical practice in telehealth and telemedicine. Through its reports and recommendations, CEJA is responsible for maintaining and updating the AMA Code of Medical Ethics (Code). CEJA reports are developed through an iterative process of deliberation with input from multiple stakeholders; report recommendations, once adopted by the AMA House of Delegates, become ethics policy of the AMA and are issued as Opinions in the Code. To provide enduring guidance for the medical profession as a whole, CEJA strives to articulate expectations for conduct that are as independent of specific technologies or models of practice as possible. The present report, developed at the request of the House of Delegates, provides broad guidance for ethical conduct relating to key issues in telehealth/telemedicine. The report and recommendations were debated at meetings of the House in June and November 2015; recommendations were adopted in June 2016 and published as Opinion E-1.2.12, Ethical Practice in Telemedicine, in November 2016. A summary of the key points of the recommendations can be found in Appendix A (online), and the full text of the opinion can be found in Appendix B (online).


ethics policy telemedicine professionalism AMA (American Medical Association) 



This article was supported by the American Medical Association. This article summarizes a report written by the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs of the American Medical Association and was presented to the AMA’s House of Delegates and adopted in June 2016. The authors, on behalf of the Council, are grateful for input and comments provided by members of the AMA during the drafting stages of the report.

Author Contributions

Ms. Chaet, MSB, has access to all of the data used to prepare the report and takes responsibility for the integrity of the interpretation. American Medical Association.Study Concept and Design.All authors.Acquisition of Data.All authors.Analysis and Interpretation of Data.All authors.Drafting of the Manuscript.Danielle Chaet.Critical Revision of the Manuscript for Important Intellectual Content.All authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards


The study was funded from the operating budget of the American Medical Association, which employs Ms. Chaet.

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11606_2017_4082_MOESM1_ESM.docx (18 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle Chaet
    • 1
  • Ron Clearfield
    • 2
  • James E. Sabin
    • 3
    • 4
  • Kathryn Skimming
    • 5
  • on behalf of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs American Medical Association
  1. 1.American Medical AssociationChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Bonita SpringsUSA
  3. 3.Harvard Pilgrim Health CareWellesleyUSA
  4. 4.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  5. 5.University of Maryland/Sheppard Pratt Psychiatry Residency ProgramBaltimoreUSA

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