- ACMA ASSOCIATION CODE OF DEONTOLOGY
- SECTION I
- SECTION II
- SECTION III
- SECTION IV
- SECTION V
- SECTION VI
- SECTION VII
- SECTION VIII
ACMA ASSOCIATION CODE OF DEONTOLOGY #
Every ACMA(2) practitioner(1) is obligated to comply with this code of ethics. They commit to exercise their profession while respecting integrity, the dignity of the individual, and the free will of their client(3).
SECTION I #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS THE CLIENT #
- The practitioner is required to practice their profession according to the principles recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) and/or provincial and national educational institutions.
- Professional confidentiality, established in the clients’ interest, applies to all practitioners. Confidentiality encompasses everything that is learned during the exercise of their profession, not only what has been entrusted to them, but also what they have observed, heard, or understood.
- They must ensure that anyone who assists them in the exercise of their profession is informed of their professional confidentiality obligations and complies with them.
- The practitioner is obliged to protect against any undue disclosure the medical documents relating to the people they have treated or examined, regardless of the content or medium of these documents. They must also protect the medical information they hold. They must respect the right of their client to consult the documents concerning them in any file set up about them and to obtain a copy of these documents.
- When using their experience or their documents for scientific publication or teaching purposes, the practitioner must ensure that the identification of individuals is not possible. If this is not the case, their consent must be obtained.
- They can only be released from professional confidentiality with their client’s permission, or when the law or a judicial procedure requires it.
- They must not unjustifiably interfere in their clients’ family affairs or private life.
- However, the practitioner may disclose information protected by professional secrecy to prevent an act of violence against themselves or another when they have reasonable grounds to believe that an imminent danger of death or serious injury threatens an identifiable person or group of people. They must provide, as far as possible, only the strictly necessary information for the protection of the person or people concerned. This information will be communicated to the person or people exposed to this danger, to their representative, or to people likely to come to their aid.
- For each client, the practitioner must keep a personal observation file: this file is confidential and contains the elements of observation and the therapeutic methods(4) used.
- The practitioner must be aware of their limits and competencies and must advise their client to consult another health professional when they believe that this is necessary for the well-being of the latter. They must never dissuade a client from consulting another health professional if they wish to do so.
SECTION II #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS THE PROFESSION #
- The practitioner must respect all the rules governing their profession and must seek to promote high standards of professional practice.
- The practitioner must not make false statements regarding their level of competence or the effectiveness of their own services or those generally offered by their professional colleagues.
- The practitioner must collaborate with other health professionals and promote interprofessional exchanges. They respect the knowledge, skills, and contributions of other practitioners and health professionals.
- They must contribute as much as possible to the development and evolution of their profession, notably by sharing their knowledge and experience with their colleagues, students, and interns.
- They must acknowledge the authority of their profession’s regulatory bodies and fully cooperate with them. This includes respecting the decisions made by these bodies and participating in disciplinary procedures, if necessary.
SECTION III #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS SOCIETY #
- The practitioner must respect the law and act ethically. This includes the obligation to refuse any form of corruption, discrimination, or violence.
- They must contribute to societal well-being by using their professional skills and knowledge to improve the health and well-being of the population.
- The practitioner must contribute to public education in matters of health and well-being and encourage prevention rather than merely reacting to diseases.
- They must advocate for public health and equitable access to healthcare for all members of society.
SECTION IV #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS ONESELF #
- The practitioner must maintain good physical and mental health in order to be able to provide quality care to their clients. If their health or personal abilities are compromised to such an extent that it hinders their professional practice, they should seek help or limit their practice.
- They must continually update their knowledge and skills to ensure high-quality professional practice. This includes participation in continuing education, reading relevant professional publications, and membership in professional associations.
- The practitioner must take care of their emotional well-being and avoid professional burnout. This may include seeking emotional or psychological support if necessary.
- They must respect their own limits and not overwork or accept more clients than they can effectively and safely manage.
- The practitioner has a duty to maintain personal and professional conduct that honors their profession and themselves. They avoid any conduct that could harm the reputation of the profession or diminish public trust in it.
SECTION V #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS RESEARCH #
- The practitioner engaging in research must ensure it is conducted ethically and respects the rights, dignity, and welfare of the research participants.
- Research results must be presented honestly and accurately. The practitioner must avoid any exaggeration of conclusions or misleading presentation of results.
- The practitioner must respect the ethical rules of publication, including appropriate acknowledgment of the contribution of others and disclosure of any potential conflict of interest.
- The practitioner should strive to translate research results into practical improvements for the delivery of healthcare, while ensuring that these improvements are based on solid evidence and not on mere assumptions or passing fads.
SECTION VI #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS THE COMMUNITY AND SOCIETY #
- The practitioner must be aware of the impact of their practice on the community and society as a whole. This includes promoting public health, involvement in community health initiatives, and awareness of social justice issues related to health.
- They must respect the laws and regulations governing their practice. In case of conflict between ethical requirements and laws or regulations, the practitioner should seek advice to navigate the situation ethically.
- The practitioner has a responsibility towards society to participate in voluntary and philanthropic activities related to their profession, as far as this is possible and appropriate.
- They must contribute to public education on health issues, providing accurate information and avoiding the spread of misleading or false ideas.
SECTION VII #
RESPONSIBILITIES AND DUTIES TOWARDS THE PROFESSION #
- The practitioner must contribute to the improvement of their profession. This may include participation in professional associations, making contributions to professional literature, and participation in research initiatives.
- They must respect other health professionals and work collaboratively for the good of the patients. This includes open and respectful communication, constructive conflict resolution, and recognition of the skills and contributions of others.
- The practitioner must report any unethical or incompetent behavior of other health professionals to the competent authority.
- They must also respect diversity within the profession and refrain from any form of discrimination against colleagues or patients.
SECTION VIII #
FINAL PROVISIONS #
- This Code of Ethics is subject to revision and updating to reflect the evolution of professional standards and practices. Practitioners are required to stay informed of changes and comply with them.
- In case of violation of this Code, disciplinary measures may be taken, including, but not limited to, warning, suspension, or revocation of the license to practice.
- Practitioners are encouraged to seek ethical advice when faced with ethical dilemmas or ambiguous situations.
(1) Practitioner: an osteopath, naturopath, massage therapist, or kinesiologist member of the ACMA.
(2) ACMA: Canadian Alliance for Alternative Medicine.
(3) Client: patient or client of an ACMA member.
(4) Therapeutic methods: All forms of treatment and/or advice used by the practitioner to improve the health and well-being of their clients.
(5) Practitioner: Anyone practicing a profession in the health field, including, but not limited to, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, psychologists, osteopaths, chiropractors, naturopaths, etc.