The Purpose of a Code of Ethics

Ethics as a field of study is concerned with the morality of a person’s behaviour or the code of conduct the person uses as they go about the business of their life. It can be further defined as the strand of thinking concerned with what is regarded as ‘good’ and ‘bad’, which allows us to form a set of ideas around moral duty and obligation.


When this set of ideas is particularly applied to the field of Medicine, then we are in the area called Medical Ethics. If an ethical problem proves too diverse in the number of solutions that present themselves, the final decision often has to be made by the Court.


To help reduce confusion in situations such as this, professional medical organisations such as the GMC refer to their Code of Ethics. These Codes of Ethics are kept updated because they are widely accepted and prove useful. However, they are not necessarily always upheld by the law.