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Code of ethics for healthcare professionals

Updated July 19, 2017

All health care professionals are duty-bound to follow a strict code of ethics. This has been true since the fourth or fifth century, when the Hippocratic Oath was penned. While the code has changed with the times, the code of ethics still dictates a commitment both to patients and to other health care professionals.

Significance

A health care professional is accountable to her superiors, colleagues, patients and the general public, and has moral obligations to these people.

Legal Responsibilities

A health care professional keeps himself aware of all relevant laws--such as HIPAA laws--and all changes made to these laws, in order to avoid taking part, even unintentionally, in any fraudulent, false or deceptive behaviour. She is committed to maintaining the qualities of integrity, honesty and accountability to the highest degree possible.

Responsibilities to Patients

A health care professional treats each patient with respect and compassion, regardless of the patient's physical appearance, economic or social status, or the nature of the patient's health problem. A patient must enjoy optimum care, knowing that his health, safety and rights are protected. In addition, a health care professional has to respect the rule of confidentiality between patient and health care provider.

Responsibilities to Colleagues

A health care professional recognises the work of other health care professionals and helps them with their professional growth. A true professional acknowledges the excellent work of others, and helps them to attain success.

Responsibilities to Superiors

A health care professional affords her superiors expert knowledge to assist them in making informed decisions about patient health care. She takes responsibility for offering insight into the possible outcome of a health care or management decision.

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About the Author

Monika Mandoki started writing in 2003 when she became a graduate student. She writes most of her papers to participate in academic conferences. Her main interest is philosophy, but she also writes on education, ethics, religion, psychology and travel. She is graduate student working on her PhD in philosophy at McMaster University.