Ethics and AACAP

This section provides educational resources on the salient American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP), American Medical Association (AMA) and American Psychiatric Association (APA) ethics documents.

Please note that AACAP does not monitor or review the ethical and professional behaviors of its members or practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists. All complainants are referred to the relevant state medical board and/or the APA. Utilizing an honor system, AACAP expects practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists and its members to abide by the AACAP Code of Ethics as well as the ethics principles of the AMA and APA.

The Ethics Committee co-chairs are Dr. Gail A. Edelsohn, MD, MSPH and Dr. Maria E. de Brito McGee, MD, MS, MPH. If you have an ethics related question, please ask (via email) the AACAP Ethics Committee members at:

  1. Charge of the AACAP Ethics Committee

    This provides a description of AACAP Ethics Committee charge and mission.

  2. AACAP Ethics Committee Members

    This provides a current list of AACAP Ethics Committee members and contact information for questions about ethical issues.

  3. AACAP Code of Ethics (2014)

    This provides the most recent revised AACAP Code of Ethics, which was approved by Council on 9/16/2014.

  4. Conflict of Interest Guidelines for Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists

    The four A's of conflict of interests include:

    1. Awareness of conflict of interest,
    2. Assessment of conflict of interest,
    3. Acknowledgement or disclosure of conflict of interest and
    4. Actions to manage or eliminate conflicts of interest.


  5. AMA Code of Medical Ethics (2016)

    The Code of Medical Ethics of the AMA consists of three components:

    1. The Principles of Medical Ethics,
    2. Ethical Opinions of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs and
    3. Reports of the Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs.


  6. APA's Principles of Medical Ethics With Annotations Especially Applicable to Psychiatry (2013)

    The AMA Principles of Medical Ethics is printed separately along with annotations especially applicable to psychiatry.

  7. Ethics Requirement for AACAP Members

    Child and adolescent psychiatrists routinely encounter ethical issues as clinicians, educators, researchers and/ or administrators; ethics is an integral component of all aspects of practice. The AACAP Ethics requirement is a marker/reminder of the importance of ethics and its intrinsic value to all areas of practice. One hour (60 minutes) of education in ethics every two years satisfies this requirement.

AACAP Ethics Committee Charge

  1. Identify ethical issues related to the field of child and adolescent psychiatry.
  2. Serve an educational function regarding ethics for the membership and components of AACAP.
  3. Collaborate with AACAP components when ethical problems are identified by the AACAP membership.
  4. Be a resource regarding ethics issues for the Executive Committee and Council.
  5. Refer positions of the committee to the AACAP Executive Committee.
  6. Advise inquirers and those with ethical complaints against individual AACAP members that the AACAP procedure is to refer such issues to larger, related medical organizations and/or state medical licensing authorities.
  7. Establish links with ethics committees of related professional organizations in order to enhance the mutual flow of relevant information and knowledge.

If you have an ethics related question, please ask (via email) the AACAP Ethics Committee members at: