Medical Ethics

The medical profession has long subscribed to a body of ethical statements developed for the benefit of the patient. As a member of this profession, a physician must recognize their responsibility to patients, to society, to other health professionals and to self.

Members of the APA and the OPPA are expected to follow the Principles of Medical Ethics. Failure to do so can result in sanctions for unethical conduct ranging from a reprimand to expulsion. Action may also be taken by the State Medical Board of Ohio.

The APA Ethics Committee receives frequent requests for opinions. The questions center around the ethicality of certain behavior and conduct. The Committee has published a booklet Opinions of the Ethics Committee on the Principles of Medical Ethics.

To view the current documents, click here.


Filing an Ethics Complaint

The American Psychiatric Association, and the Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association, recognize that psychiatrists are responsible for providing competent and ethical care for their patients. Therefore, when complaints are received about members who may have behaved unethically, those complaints are taken seriously.

Anyone concerned about the care they received is encouraged to review the following: 

The Principles of Medical Ethics with Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry

If, after reviewing these Principles, an individual feels an ethics violation has occurred, they will need to put their complaint in writing. In doing so, it will need to include such information as the events pertaining to the concern, the name and location of the psychiatrist involved, and any other information which will assist in our preliminary review.

Authorization Form for Release of Information

A release of information form will need to be completed for each source of information (i.e., doctors, hospitals, clinics, etc.).

The following document provides additional information about the process:

Information About the Ethics Process

A written complaint should be addressed to:

Ethics Chair
Ohio Psychiatric Physicians Association
3510 Snouffer Road, Suite 101
Columbus, OH 43235-4217