The 30th anniversary of the code of ethics of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists–a worthy milestone

Izaak Lim, Felicity Kenn, Sidney Bloch

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Objective: To appraise the evolution of the RANZCP’s Code of Ethics on the occasion of its 30th anniversary. Method: We scrutinised its five editions, focussing on the revision procedure and changes made, and reviewed relevant literature. Results: The procedure of revision has remained constant: incorporating feedback from college members, committees and faculties, and consulting professional medical bodies and mental health advocacy organisations. Seven major themes of change have emerged with respect to patient exploitation, recognition of family and carers, the special place of Indigenous Peoples, confidentiality, engaging patients in decision-making, multidisciplinary collaboration and the well-being of psychiatrists. Conclusions: The code has proved to be a dynamic instrument in keeping abreast of changes in psychiatry and society, and promises to maintain a prominent role in promoting high ethical standards in the profession.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)364-371
Number of pages8
JournalAustralasian Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • code of ethics
  • ethical principles
  • ethics

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