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Responsibilities to the Patient
- Treat all patients with respect; do not exploit them for personal advantage.
- Provide whatever appropriate assistance you can to any person with an urgent need for medical care.
- In providing medical service, do not discriminate against any patient on such grounds as age, sex, marital status, medical condition, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political allegiance, race, religion, creed, sexual orientation, social standing or socio-economic status. This does not abrogate the doctor’s right to refuse to accept a patient for legitimate reasons.
- Inform your patient when your personal morality would influence the recommendation or practice of any medical procedure that the patient needs or wants.
- Having accepted professional responsibility for a patient, continue to provide services until they are no longer required or wanted; until another suitable doctor has assumed responsibility for the patient; or until the patient has been given adequate notice that you intend to terminate the relationship.
- Make every reasonable effort to foster a good relationship with your patients based on mutual respect, communication and trust. Appropriate communication may be extended to family and close friends if this is on the patient’s interest.
- Recommend and perform only those diagnostic and therapeutic procedures that you consider to be beneficial to your patient or to others. If a procedure is recommended for the benefit of others, as for example in matters of public health, inform your patient of this fact and proceed only with explicit informed consent or where required by law.
- Respect the right of a competent patient to accept or reject any medical care recommended.
- Recognize the need to balance the developing competency of children and the role of families in medical decision-making.
- Respect your patient's reasonable request for a second opinion from a doctor of the patient's choice.
- When the intentions of an incompetent patient are unknown and when no appropriate proxy is available, render such treatment as you believe to be in accordance with the patient's values or, if these are unknown, the patient's best interests.
- Be considerate of the patient's family and significant others and cooperate with them in the patient's interest.
- Ensure the existence of a process to evaluate the quality of care or services rendered;
- Ensure the existence of a process that will advise patients or others served of the rights, opportunities, responsibilities and risks regarding available healthcare services;
- Provide a process that ensures the autonomy and self-determination of patients or others served; and
- Limit treatment of yourself or members of your immediate family to minor or emergency services and only when another doctor is not readily available; there should be no fee for such treatment.