American Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Association

committed to team care…

Code of Ethics

Introduction

As stated in its constitution, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association ("Association") is organized to stimulate specialist and public interest in, and a more exact knowledge and improved practice of, the science and art of the rehabilitation of persons with cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies (hereafter described as "craniofacial anomalies"). The mission of the association is to optimize care of persons affected by cleft lip, cleft palate and other craniofacial anomalies.

Membership in the association is open to individuals of all disciplines interested in craniofacial anomalies. Ethical behavior is expected of members and teams and is guided by a Code of Ethics. Members and teams are responsible and accountable for their actions and words as well as the public use of their names. Thus they are expected to act in accord with the principles of the Code of Ethics in all contacts with patients, peers, and the general public.

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Ethical Principles

The following principles are the aspirational goals which guide the behavior of all individual members and listed teams. These principles are meant to foster exemplary behavior.

I. The primary objective of the members and listed teams is to render appropriate service to all persons who seek care with full respect for human dignity. Members and teams should respect the trust and confidence of patients in their care, rendering to each a full measure of service and dedication.

II. Members and teams should strive to improve patient care through clinical knowledge and skill and must make available to their patients and colleagues the benefits of this knowledge.

III. Members and teams should seek to safeguard their patients from harm.

IV. Members should uphold the dignity and honor of their individual specialty's professional Code of Ethics and accept its self-imposed disciplines.

V. Members and teams should provide care to all persons without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or ability to pay. Members and teams should make every effort to find funding or a source of service for financially disadvantaged patients.

VI. Members and teams should respect patient autonomy while exercising sound clinical judgment and skill.

VII. Members and teams should seek or offer outside consultations upon the request of the patient or family in doubtful or difficult cases, or whenever it appears that the quality of service may thereby be enhanced.

VIII. Patient confidentiality should be respected unless members or teams are required to break confidentiality by law.

IX. Members who participate in volunteer medical missions outside their home country should provide only the type of care for which they have training and credentials in their home country.

X. Members and teams should assist the public in obtaining information and services regarding the care and treatment of individuals with craniofacial anomalies.

XI. Members and teams should honestly and accurately represent their professional qualifications and the services or characteristics of their team to the public and to the association.

XII. Research, clinical presentations, and published articles are to be based on scientific principles and conducted in an ethical manner. Financial interest of any type in the conduct of research is to be clearly stated in publications and presentations.

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Ethical Applications

The following are ethical rules for all members and listed teams. A team is expected to function in an ethical manner. The team director is ultimately responsible for the conduct of a team in its relationship to the association.

I. Members should obey all laws and avoid illegal activities.

II. Members should be in good standing in their organization of primary certification.

III. Members should be in good standing with their state or national licensing boards.

IV. Members and teams should not engage in inaccurate or dishonest solicitation of patients.

V. Members and teams should provide complete records to other professionals or teams when requested by the patient or family.

VI. Professional advertisements should not be dishonest, false, or misleading either in writing or in photographs. Members and teams should be able to substantiate material objective claims made in advertising.

VII. The Association team listing designation and logo should not be used in advertising.

VIII. Members and teams should not pay nor receive a commission for referral of patients.

IX. Disclosure of professionally related commercial interests and any other interest that may influence decision making is required in communications to patients, the public, and to colleagues. Patients should not be exploited in any manner when a member has a financial interest in a commercial venture.

X. The source(s) of research funding must be acknowledged in presentations and publications.

XI. Members should not be involved in misrepresentation, unethical behavior, or fraud in research and presentations.

XII. Teams should honestly represent their services in reports to the Association.

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Prepared by the Ad Hoc Ethics Committee, Edward Elmendorf, III, M.D., Chair

Approved by the membership present at the Annual Business Meeting, April 26, 1996, San Diego, California.