Ethics for Ophthalmic Medical Personnel

  This page is part of the Ophthalmic Assistant Basic Training Course.
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  The American Academy of Ophthalmology has a Code of Ethics that serve as goals for the membership.  Ophthalmic medical personnel (OMP) are delegated responsibilities as members of the ophthalmic medical care team and should therefore be expected to assist in following the Code of Ethics.  Below are listed principles and rules that are taken from the Code that have application for ophthalmic medical personnel.  Elements that are taken word-for-word from the Code are in quotations.  Some statements are paraphrased from the Code.
  • "Ophthalmological services must be provided with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty and integrity."

  • "Patient confidences must be safeguarded within the constraints of the law."

  • It is the responsibility of the OMP to act in the best interest of the patient.

  • An OMP should perform only those procedures in which the OMP is competent by virtue of specific training or experience or is assisted by one who is.

  • An OMP must not misrepresent credentials, training, experience, ability or results.  The OMP should identify herself/himself to the patient with regard to credentials.

  • "The performance of medical or surgical procedures shall be preceded by appropriate informed consent."  This, of course, depends upon the definition of a procedure.  In this case a procedure refers to a treatment, particularly one that can have an adverse outcome.  "Informed consent" does not necessarily mean that a form is signed.  The patient may give verbal consent after a discussion of the procedure with the doctor.  A signed form certainly carries more weight than a verbal agreement.  In either case, consent should be documented in the patient record.

  • "Communications to colleagues must be accurate and truthful."

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