Because of the implications of the actions of those in the medical profession, doctors must abide by a strict professional code of conduct. In 1949, the World Medical Association adopted an international medical ethics code for doctors to follow.
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A physician must abide by high standards of integrity and professional conduct. He cannot be motivated by financial gain in the practice of the profession. Unethical conduct includes: misrepresentation of self, payment for services not rendered, false testimony, promoting untested treatments and actions that are not in the patients' best interests.
Professional conduct includes treating other medical personnel as she wishes to be treated and not taking patients away from a colleague. She also has an ethical responsibility to report any unprofessional behaviour on the part of colleagues to the appropriate authorities. She should share her professional abilities with the poor.
Duties to Patients
A doctor must preserve life from conception unless his conscience and national laws allow otherwise. He must offer his patients complete loyalty, and if the patient has a medical need which the doctor cannot treat, he must ask for appropriate professional assistance. He will honour the confidentiality of all patients. He will also assist in an emergency unless another capable individual offers aid.
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