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THE INTERNATIONAL CODE OF MEDICAL ETHICS

Adopted by the Third General Assembly of the World Medical Association at London in October 1949, amended by the 22nd World Medical Assembly, Sydney, Australia, August 1968, and the 35th World Medical Assembly, Venice, Italy, October 1983.

Duties of Doctors in General

A DOCTOR SHALL always maintain the highest standards of professional conduct.

A DOCTOR SHALL not permit motives of profit to influence the free and independent exercise of professional judgment on behalf of patients.

A DOCTOR SHALL, in all types of medical practice, be dedicated to providing competent medical service in full technical and moral independence, with compassion and respect for human dignity.

A DOCTOR SHALL deal honestly with patients and colleagues, and strive to expose those doctors deficient in character or competence, or who engage in fraud or deception.

The following practices are deemed to be unethical conduct:

  • Self-advertising by doctors, unless permitted by the laws of the country and the Code of Ethics of the National Medical Association.
  • Paying or receiving any fee or any other consideration solely to procure the referral of a patient or for prescribing or referring a patient to any source.

  • A doctor shall respect the rights of patients, of colleagues, and of other health professionals, and shall safeguard patient confidences.

A DOCTOR SHALL act only in the patient's interest when providing medical care which might have the effect of weakening the physical and mental condition of the patient.

A DOCTOR SHALL use great caution in divulging discoveries of new techniques or treatment through non-professional channels.

A DOCTOR SHALL certify only that which he has personally verified.

Duties of Doctors to the Sick

A DOCTOR SHALL always bear in mind the obligation of preserving human life.

A DOCTOR SHALL owe his patients complete loyalty and all the resources of his science. Whenever an examination or treatment is beyond the doctor's capacity he should summon another doctor who has the necessary ability.

A DOCTOR SHALL preserve absolute confidentiality except where others are endangered on all he knows about his patient even after the patient has died.

A DOCTOR SHALL give emergency care as a humanitarian duty unless he is assured that others are willing and able to give such care.

Duties of Doctors to Each Other

A DOCTOR SHALL behave towards his colleagues as he would have them behave towards him.

A DOCTOR SHALL NOT entice patients from his colleagues.

A DOCTOR SHALL observe the principles of The Declaration of Geneva approved by The World Medical Association.

THE WORLD MEDICAL ASSOCIATION DECLARATION OF GENEVA

Adopted by the General Assembly of the World Medical Association, Geneva, Switzerland, September 1948 and amended by the 22nd World Medical Assembly, Sydney, Australia, August 1968.

At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

  • I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
  • I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
  • I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
  • The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
  • I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
  • I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honor and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
  • My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
  • I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
  • I will maintain the utmost respect for human life from the time of conception, even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
  • I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honor.

 

 
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