BAHMA’s Code of Ethics lays out the profession’s morals and values which provide the foundations of the Code of Conduct, and set minimum standards of professional conduct for members.
The Code of Ethics is structured as a collection of principles which are elaborated with illustrations of each principle’s everyday application which are non-exhaustive.
As self-reliant moral agents members should reflect on the ethical principles laid out in all settings in which they interact with patients, other professionals and the community at large. The aim is to bring clarity the nature of what a member is doing or has forgotten to do, and as a result allows for all to understand good and acceptable professional conduct towards the community, and thereby to be able to identify and avoid conduct which is unacceptable.
The Code of Ethics is not rigid nor prescriptive but is intended for reflective purposes when an ethical dilemma has been identified and a solution is sought. When a practitioner encounters an ethical dilemma of nay nature it is always advisable to consult one or more practitioners in order to identify a well-thought through and balanced solution. If the conflict remains unresolved at this point then it is advisable to contact the association.
1. Respect of the patient’s autonomy by all members
(a) Autonomy refers to the right of the patient to make their own decisions regarding their health care.
(b) Health care is a consensual contract between practitioner and patient, yet it is not always on equal grounds due to the fact that the practitioner tends to have more health knowledge than the patient.
(c) Practitioners must be able to provide a sufficient explanation of the patient’s condition, available treatment options and associated risks so that the patient can make an informed decisions and give informed consent for treatment.
(d) Treat your patient with compassion and respect.
2. All treatment administered for the sole benefit of the patient
(a) Administered treatment shall be chosen on the basis of being reasonably necessary with the objective of providing benefit to the physical, emotional or psycho-social health and well-being of the patient.
(b) Frequency and nature of treatment is decided on the basis of the individual needs of the patient without using criteria such as financial, personal or business interests of the practitioner.
3. Members shall operate without harm to the patient
(a) Members shall ensure that they offer a safe and hygienic environment suitable for their practice.
(b) Members shall be able to evidence continuing professional education to maintain and develop their professional competence and keep abreast of new developments in their field.
(c) Members shall not guide their patients towards financial or emotional distress.
(d) Recognition by the practitioner when a patient is not responding adequately to treatment. In such cases the advised approach is to discuss and review options with the patient including that of referral to another health practitioner.
4. Members shall act fairly and in a just manner when interacting with patients, other professionals, peers and the community as a whole
(a) Members shall not practice discrimination against patients on the basis of their religion, gender, race, ethnicity, political views, trade union or professional association membership, sexual identity, age, nature of presenting condition, impairment, disability, or criminal record.
(b) Members shall not promote themselves or their practice by using misleading or dishonest advertising.
(c) Members shall view and treat other professions with professional respect and courtesy.
(d) Members agree not to take unfair advantage of third party payers such as health funds and workers compensation insurers.
(e) Members will at all times act in accordance with the law.
5. Members shall hold all patient information in a confidential and secure manner
(a) As health information is often of a sensitive and intimate nature, its divulgence and use should be therefore be applied to exclusively benefit the patient’s health.
(b) Members adhere to keep abreast of the evolving nature of statutory obligations applicable to their profession regarding privacy and patient access to their health records.