- ACMA ASSOCIATION CODE OF ETHICS
- Creating an Environment for Healing
- Mutual Respect
- Access to the Patient's Medical Record
- Respect for Privacy
- Open Communication
- Informed Decision-Making in Healthcare or Therapy
- The principle of respecting an individual's informed decision-making is at the core of informed consent. The patient, or if necessary, their authorized representative, should receive assistance in making the best possible decisions regarding healthcare or therapy, which includes:
- In applying the principle of informed decision-making, consideration should be given to specific circumstances, including:
- Precautions in Healthcare or Therapy
- Responsibilities of Patients
- Patient Safety and Quality Improvement
- Compliance with Legal and Ethical Standards
- Confidentiality and Privacy
- Professional Conduct and Accountability
ACMA ASSOCIATION CODE OF ETHICS #
In pursuit of its mission, ACMA Association strives to integrate healthcare or therapy services for patients and education, while fostering an environment conducive to investigation, innovation, and self-evaluation. ACMA Association also aims to share its expertise in addressing health issues, preventing diseases or accidents, and promoting health with other associations and healthcare professionals, with the goal of collectively addressing the health needs of the population. The ACMA Association community seeks to continuously strengthen its relationships with the diverse groups it serves, through open communication, mutual understanding and support, and respect for cultural and linguistic diversity. We work in partnership with patients to identify their healthcare or therapy needs and provide appropriate care.
Aligned with its charter and traditions, ACMA Association places the following principles at the forefront: #
- Fundamental concern for respecting the intrinsic value of each individual.
- Commitment to treating patients at all times with understanding, compassion, courtesy, and fairness, while respecting their dignity, autonomy, needs, and safety.
- Obligation to adhere to the highest ethical and legal standards in professional practice.
- Commitment to pursuing excellence in healthcare or therapy services and education.
- Loyalty to our community.
- Commitment to the fundamental principles of justice and equitable distribution of healthcare or therapy resources.
All members of ACMA Association are collectively responsible for treating individuals seeking our institution’s assistance with respect. Every effort must be made to provide comfort and reassurance to these individuals. This Code of Ethics expresses this responsibility and ACMA Association’s commitment to anchoring its practices and activities in its values and beliefs.
Creating an Environment for Healing #
ACMA Association attaches great importance to the following guiding principles when creating an environment for healing: #
- Mutual respect.
- Respect for privacy.
- Promotion of transparency in communications.
- Respect for confidentiality.
- Informed decision-making regarding healthcare or therapy services.
- Human and responsible approach in the delivery of healthcare or therapy services.
- Accessibility of medical information.
Mutual Respect #
Every person should be treated with respect. This principle is reflected in the attitude, communication, and behavior of ACMA Association members, patients, and their families.
Respecting the individual entails sensitivity to the following: #
- The person’s right to make decisions concerning themselves (right to self-determination).
- The right to human dignity and privacy.
- The person’s efforts to describe their own experience of illness or express discomfort and symptoms they may be experiencing.
Members must demonstrate courtesy, fairness, and understanding towards patients and their families. ACMA Association does not practice discrimination based on race, ethnicity, culture, social status, gender, sexual orientation, health status, or health choices.
ACMA Association recognizes the specific needs of children and adolescents. Members respect these needs and strive to address them, in line with the association’s mission, available resources, and the needs of other children and their families.
All members of ACMA Association are collectively responsible for ensuring that their clinics provide a safe and courteous environment. ACMA Association members, patients, and visitors should not be subjected to harassment or violence. They should feel free to report incidents of violence without fear of retaliation. Clear guidelines should be provided regarding the process for reporting such incidents and the identity of the individuals to whom they should report.
Confidentiality refers to the right to respect for the confidentiality of information. The concept of confidentiality applies to both the patient’s written record and information disclosed by the patient, family, or third parties. Confidentiality is the rule, unless the specific communication of information is authorized by the patient, their parents, a guardian (for a minor under the age of 14), or by law.
Patients must give prior authorization for the study of their case by any individual external to the healthcare or therapy team. If the patient is unable to provide such authorization, the patient’s medical information may be discussed with the following individuals: #
- The person designated as the patient’s spokesperson.
- The closest family member of the patient.
- The patient’s authorized representative (if applicable).
Respect for confidentiality also applies to the patient’s medical record. Members may access the patient’s medical record only for the purpose of providing healthcare or therapy services in a comprehensive perspective or for approved educational purposes by ACMA Association. If the patient’s medical record is used for educational purposes, all necessary precautions must be taken to adequately preserve the patient’s privacy or anonymity.
Information related to the patient’s health, condition, and healthcare or therapy services is considered confidential by the treating healthcare professional. Members of ACMA Association may discuss the patient’s health condition with other members of the multidisciplinary healthcare team and, when necessary, with other members of ACMA Association, to the extent that such discussions are necessary for diagnosis or treatment. The same obligation of confidentiality is expected from all members of ACMA Association in contact with the patient. Information may be communicated to another facility or an external physician as required for the continuity of healthcare or therapy services, always subject to written consent. In exceptional circumstances prescribed by law or a court order, information may be disclosed without explicit prior consent.
Access to the Patient’s Medical Record #
Upon request, the patient may have access to their medical record, unless, in exceptional circumstances, the treating member determines that it is not in the patient’s best interest at the time of the request. The review of the medical record by the patient shall be conducted in the presence of a member of ACMA Association.
Access by any other person to a patient’s medical record is permitted only with appropriate authorization or a court order. Adequate measures regarding privacy and confidentiality apply in such cases.
Respect for Privacy #
Respect for privacy encompasses the right of individuals to be free from undue intrusion into their private lives. Members acknowledge that every patient has the right to the respect of their dignity and privacy. Treatments, investigations, and personal hygiene care are provided with respect for the patient’s dignity and privacy.
In return, it is expected of children and adults—whether patients, family members, or visitors—that they show consideration for the dignity and privacy of all individuals they encounter during their presence in the ACMA Association clinic.
Open Communication #
Open communication encompasses various dimensions, from the simplest, such as knowing who one is addressing, to the more complex, such as fully understanding the benefits and drawbacks of a specific therapeutic intervention. Members strive to promote open communication through the following means: #
- Introducing themselves to their interlocutors.
- Explaining their role in healthcare or therapy to the patient.
- Providing healthcare or therapy services in French, English, and other languages as needed.
- Allowing time for decision-making, taking into account the clinical situation’s imperatives.
- Providing information about healthcare or therapy services and the services offered within the clinic, as well as access to continued healthcare or therapy services after intensive healthcare or therapy.
- Addressing the patient’s questions and concerns.
- Facilitating the patient’s informed decision-making.
- Ensuring the presence of a disciplinary board and establishing a procedure for handling patient complaints.
- Implementing ACMA Association’s policy on information disclosure in the event of unexpected outcomes: If an error occurs in the healthcare or therapy provided to the patient, the patient is informed of the error’s existence, its likely consequences, and the corrective measures that will be taken.
- Promoting effective communication among various departments, services, teams, and professionals within ACMA Association.
Informed Decision-Making in Healthcare or Therapy #
The principle of respecting an individual’s informed decision-making is at the core of informed consent. The patient, or if necessary, their authorized representative, should receive assistance in making the best possible decisions regarding healthcare or therapy, which includes: #
- Providing necessary information on the following points:
- Their health condition.
- Available examinations and treatments.
- The objectives, benefits, risks, and possible side effects of the offered examinations and treatments.
- The identity and role of the healthcare or therapy team members.
- The right to refuse an examination or treatment.
- The probable consequences of refusing the proposed treatments.
- The right to withdraw consent at any time.
- The right to know in advance explicit directives regarding future treatment.
- Ensuring that the information is provided in a clear and understandable language, in an environment that encourages open discussion. If needed, the patient can request and receive assistance to facilitate their understanding of the situation and decision-making process.
- Allowing sufficient time for reflection before making a decision.
- Engaging in ongoing discussions as the patient’s situation evolves.
- Requesting the patient to describe the role they wish their family to play in decisions related to their healthcare or therapy, particularly if they may become incapacitated or unable to communicate autonomously. In such cases, the patient should receive assistance in raising these questions with their family.
- Allowing the patient to express their choices through any available means, unless otherwise stipulated by law.
The patient has the right to appoint a representative as a spokesperson or decision-maker in case they become incapacitated or require assistance. The patient’s right to reconsider a decision or seek a second opinion should also be respected.
In applying the principle of informed decision-making, consideration should be given to specific circumstances, including: #
- Individuals who lack decision-making capacity.
- Children and adolescents.
- Emergency situations.
- Delegated consent.
- Communication with third parties.
- Advance directives.
In the aforementioned situations, members strive to uphold the fundamental principles outlined earlier while taking into account applicable legislation.
Regarding children and adolescents, the involvement of both the family and the young patient is vital for the success of healthcare or therapy. This participation extends to any decision affecting the health status or well-being of the young patient.
Precautions in Healthcare or Therapy #
Members of ACMA Association take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of all individuals within their clinic and make every effort to protect children and their families from harm.
In accordance with ACMA Association’s information policy, patients are informed of any unexpected outcomes related to therapeutic procedures or errors that may occur during the provision of healthcare or therapy services.
Responsibilities of Patients #
Patients are expected to treat other patients and members with respect. They should understand that the excellence of healthcare or therapy services at ACMA Association is closely linked to its mission of education and communication.
Patients are encouraged to actively participate in their own healthcare or therapy. This includes:
- Asking questions about any concerns or aspects they do not understand.
- Making the best possible decisions regarding their healthcare or therapy.
- Discussing their expectations, preferences, and decisions with the member.
- Participating in their treatment plan.
- Behaving as informed consumers of healthcare or therapy services.
ACMA Association and its members strive to create a collaborative and respectful environment that upholds the highest ethical standards, promotes patient well-being, and ensures the provision of quality healthcare or therapy services.
Patient Safety and Quality Improvement #
ACMA Association and its members are committed to ensuring patient safety and continuously improving the quality of healthcare or therapy services. This commitment is based on the following principles: #
- Adherence to evidence-based practices: Members of ACMA Association strive to stay updated with the latest research and evidence-based guidelines relevant to their field of practice. They aim to incorporate these practices into their healthcare or therapy services to enhance patient outcomes and safety.
- Continuous quality improvement: ACMA Association promotes a culture of continuous quality improvement among its members. This involves regular self-assessment, evaluation of clinical practices, and participation in quality improvement initiatives. Members are encouraged to identify areas for improvement and implement strategies to enhance the quality and safety of healthcare or therapy services.
- Reporting of adverse events: Members are required to report any adverse events, errors, or near-misses that occur during the provision of healthcare or therapy services. This reporting system aims to identify areas of concern, analyze root causes, and implement strategies to prevent future occurrences. By fostering a culture of reporting and learning from mistakes, ACMA Association and its members prioritize patient safety and aim to minimize risks.
- Collaboration and interdisciplinary care: ACMA Association recognizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in delivering comprehensive and patient-centered care. Members are encouraged to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals, respecting their expertise and contributions. This collaborative approach ensures a holistic and coordinated approach to patient care, promoting optimal outcomes and safety.
Compliance with Legal and Ethical Standards #
ACMA Association and its members are committed to upholding the highest ethical and legal standards in their professional practice. Members adhere to the following principles: #
- Compliance with applicable laws and regulations: Members are expected to comply with all relevant laws, regulations, and professional guidelines governing their practice. This includes but is not limited to, privacy and confidentiality regulations, informed consent requirements, and professional conduct standards.
- Respect for patient autonomy and dignity: Members respect the autonomy and dignity of each patient, ensuring their rights to self-determination, privacy, and confidentiality. They involve patients in decision-making processes, provide clear and understandable information, and obtain informed consent for treatments or interventions.
- Ethical conduct and integrity: Members uphold ethical conduct and integrity in their interactions with patients, colleagues, and the broader healthcare community. They maintain professionalism, honesty, and transparency, and refrain from engaging in any behavior that could harm patients or undermine the integrity of the profession.
- Conflict of interest disclosure: Members disclose any potential or actual conflicts of interest that may arise in their professional practice. They ensure that conflicts of interest do not compromise the best interests of their patients and make decisions solely based on the patient’s well-being and the principles of ethical practice.
- Professional boundaries: Members establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries with patients, maintaining a professional and therapeutic relationship that upholds trust, respect, and patient-centered care. They avoid any form of exploitation, harassment, or dual relationships that could compromise patient care or the integrity of the profession.
ACMA Association and its members are dedicated to maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards to ensure patient safety, promote quality healthcare or therapy services, and safeguard the well-being of individuals seeking their care.
Confidentiality and Privacy #
ACMA Association and its members recognize the importance of maintaining confidentiality and protecting the privacy of patients. They adhere to the following principles: #
- Confidentiality of patient information: Members are committed to safeguarding the confidentiality of patient information. They ensure that patient records, including personal and medical information, are securely stored and accessed only by authorized individuals involved in the patient’s care. Members follow applicable privacy laws and regulations to protect patient privacy.
- Informed consent for data sharing: Members seek informed consent from patients before sharing their information with other healthcare providers or organizations involved in the patient’s care. Patients have the right to know how their information will be used and shared, and they can provide consent or restrict the sharing of their information as per their preferences.
- Security of electronic health records: ACMA Association encourages its members to utilize secure electronic health record systems and maintain robust security measures to protect patient information from unauthorized access, loss, or breaches. Members follow best practices in data security and encryption to ensure the confidentiality and privacy of patient records.
- Use of patient information for treatment and research: Members utilize patient information for treatment purposes and, with appropriate consent, may contribute anonymized data for research and quality improvement initiatives. However, patient privacy and confidentiality are always maintained, and data sharing is done in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and ethical guidelines.
- Respect for patient autonomy: Members respect the autonomy and privacy preferences of each patient. They engage patients in discussions about their health information, including the nature of the information collected, how it will be used, and the patient’s rights regarding access, amendment, and disclosure of their information.
- Transparency in data handling: ACMA Association promotes transparency in the handling of patient information. Members inform patients about their data protection practices, including how their information is collected, stored, and shared. Patients have the right to access their own health information and request corrections or updates as necessary.
ACMA Association and its members recognize the importance of maintaining patient confidentiality and privacy rights. They strive to create a safe and secure environment for patients, ensuring that their personal and medical information is treated with the utmost confidentiality and handled in compliance with applicable laws and ethical standards.
Professional Conduct and Accountability #
ACMA Association and its members are dedicated to upholding professional conduct and being accountable for their actions. They adhere to the following principles: #
- Professional competence: Members maintain and enhance their professional competence by staying updated with the latest advancements, research, and best practices in their respective fields. They pursue ongoing education and professional development to ensure the delivery of high-quality healthcare or therapy services.
- Respectful and compassionate care: Members provide care in a respectful, compassionate, and non-discriminatory manner. They treat patients with dignity, empathy, and cultural sensitivity, honoring their individual beliefs, values, and preferences.
- Professional boundaries and dual relationships: Members establish and maintain appropriate professional boundaries with patients and avoid dual relationships that could compromise patient care or professional objectivity. They do not exploit their professional relationship for personal gain or engage in relationships that may impair their professional judgment.
- Ethical decision-making: Members are committed to making ethical decisions in the best interest of their patients. They consider the ethical principles of beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice when faced with complex situations or ethical dilemmas. They engage in thoughtful deliberation and seek guidance when necessary to ensure ethical practice.
- Compliance with laws and regulations: Members adhere to all applicable laws, regulations, and professional standards governing their practice. They maintain proper licensure and stay informed about any updates or changes in the legal and regulatory landscape that may impact their practice.
- Integrity and honesty: Members act with integrity and honesty in all professional interactions. They provide accurate and truthful information to patients, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals. They refrain from engaging in deceptive, fraudulent, or unethical practices that could harm patients or undermine the integrity of the profession.
- Accountability and transparency: Members take responsibility for their actions and are accountable for the quality of care they provide. They maintain accurate and complete records, document their clinical decisions, and communicate openly with patients and other healthcare providers involved in the patient’s care.
- Professional relationships: Members foster collaborative and respectful relationships with colleagues, recognizing the value of interdisciplinary teamwork in delivering optimal patient care. They contribute to a positive and supportive professional environment, promoting collegiality, and sharing knowledge and expertise with others.
ACMA Association and its members are committed to upholding high standards of professional conduct and accountability. They strive to provide care that is characterized by competence, compassion, integrity, and ethical decision-making, ensuring the trust and confidence of their patients and the broader healthcare community.
Please note that this code of ethics is subject to periodic review and updates to reflect evolving ethical standards and best practices in the healthcare field.