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Code of Ethics in the Practice of Medicine

Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago
Code of Ethics in the Practice
of Medicine

Physician’s Code of Conduct

Physicians are placed in a position of privilege when entrusted with the care of patients. This document addresses the responsibility of physicians towards their patients, society, colleagues, and their professional and personal conduct. The General Medical Council (GMC) of Great Britain has outlined ‘The Duties of a Doctor’ in their publication ‘Good Medical Practice’. The Medical Board of Trinidad and Tobago acknowledges and accepts the ‘Duties of a Doctor’ as a guide in arriving at the physician’s code of conduct.

To justify the trust of the patient, a physician must fulfill certain responsibilities:

  • Act with care and compassion, treating every patient politely and considerately.

  • Be the patient’s advocate and put their best interests first.

  • Respect the patients’ dignity and right to privacy.

  • Listen to patients and respect their views. Patients have a right to accept or refuse treatment.

  • Act to inform their patient in a manner that enhances their right to self-determination.

  • Give patients information in a way they can understand.

  • Involve patients in making decisions about their own care.

  • Be honest and truthful with patients in the care of their illness.

  • Share information with the public in a professional manner using appropriate professional communication channels.

  • Use health care resources wisely and do not allow personal gain to influence treatment of your patient.

  • Keep their professional knowledge and skills up-to-date to ensure that the standard of care delivered to their patient is maintained at the highest level.

  • Promote and maintain patient’s physical and mental health.

  • Recognise and acknowledge their own limitations and refer patients to another physician or allied health professional when necessary.

  • Advise patients when representing a third party in the conduct of their affairs

  • Make sure that personal beliefs do not prejudice patient's care.

  • Respect patient’s confidentiality and share only the necessary information with colleagues who also participate in caring for the patient.

  • Show respect to your colleagues and work with colleagues to best serve the patient’s interests.

  • Act quickly to protect patients from risk if there is good reason to believe that they or a colleague may not be fit to practice.

  • Maintain a professional relationship with patients and their relatives and avoid using their position in the physician-patient relationship to exercise undue influence on the patient.