IMIA Code of Ethics – 2003 Archived Version

The International Medical Informatics Association is proud to advise that it has approved the endorsement of the IMIA Code of Ethics for Health Information Professionals at its General Assembly meeting on October 4, 2002 in Taipei, Taiwan. The “code” is the culmination of several years of a global collaborative effort led by IMIA’s working Group on Data Protection in Health Information, Chaired by Prof Ab Baker of the Netherlands. In addition to the “code”, a detailed handbook of explanations that go along with the principles and clauses of the code has been prepared.

The primary author of the code, which is based on the contributions of a multiplicity of individuals, agencies and organizations, is Dr. Eike-Henner W. Kluge, Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.

UPDATE: 31 January, 2011

Dr. Eike-Henner W. Kluge is currently leading an IMIA taskforce to explore any updates that may be needed to the IMIA Code of Ethics for Health Information Professionals.

IMIA Code of Ethics for Health Information Professionals


Translated by Inge Heim, MD, PhD, and Josipa Kern, PhD. Translation was reviewed by Gjuro Dezelic, PhD.

Translated by Petra Preckova, MSc. The translation was provided with the support of the EuroMISE center project LN00B107 Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic; reviewed by Prof. Dr. Jana Zvarova, D.Sc., and Ms. H. Rauserova, PhD.

Translated by Kees Louwerse and Ab Bakker

Translated by Ryuichi Yamaoto, M.D., Ph.D. The translation was reviewed by Prof. Michio Kimura, M.D., Prof. Kiyomu Ishikawa, M.D., and board members of Japan Association of Medical Informatics.

Translated by Jeongeun Kim, PhD, RN. The translation was reviewed by Hune Cho, PhD, and board members of Korean Society of Medical Informatics.

Translated by Goyta’ F. Villela Jr. edited by Umberto Tachinardi and Lincoln A. Moura Jr.

Portuguese (BRAZIL)
This document is the Portuguese Translation with a modification in respect to the patient rights of access as required by Brazilian law – to be approved by the Brazilian Healthcare Informatics Society (SBIS).

This document has been translated by the scientific translator Ms. Elena Pschelnikova. The translation was reviewed by Prof. Oleg Mayorov, PhD, DrSci.(Med) and approved by the Scientific Council of Ukrainian Association for Computer Medicine (UACM).

The document has been reviewed by Fernando Martin Sanchez (Spain), Ricardo Martinez (Venezuela), Nora Oliveri (Argentina), Gonzalo Rojas Costa (Chile) and Valerio Yacubsohn (Argentina) with the collaboration of the scientific translator: Mrs Isabel Ayala.

Accompanying Handbook

Dr. Kluge has authored the Handbook of Ethics for Health Informatics Professionals, published by the British Computer Society (2003). The handbook is available in PDF format.

English Only:


It should be noted that the IMIA Code of Ethics and the accompanying set of Rules of Ethical Conduct do not include what might be called “technical” provisions; that is to say, they do not make reference to such things as technical standards of secure data communication, or to provisions that are necessary to ensure a high quality of handling, collecting, storing, transmitting and manipulating, etc. of health care data This is purposive. While the development and implementation of technical standards has ethical dimensions, and while these dimensions are reflected in the Code and the Rules as ethical duties, the details of such technical standards are not themselves a matter of ethics.

If your organization is adopting the IMIA Code of Ethics for your membership, we request that you advise IMIA by e-mail at