Peer review is an essential tool for institutions and providers to meet the modern goals of safety and quality in health care. It is a mechanism that leads to a just culture within a health care institution whereby errors and complications are considered products of the system rather than isolated actions by an individual. The benefits and potential drawbacks of peer review are outlined in this review with a special emphasis on the interface between peer review and principles of medical ethics. It is argued that peer review, in the ideal setting, is founded upon the principles of beneficence and justice, and to varying levels on non-maleficence and autonomy.
Keywords: Ethics; Impaired provider; Just culture; Peer review; Systems.