Article IX – Ethics & Discipline
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics of AAPCM is intended to aid the chiropractic community, individually and collectively, in maintaining a high level of ethical conduct. The code is not a set of laws but rather a framework by which chiropractic physicians may determine the propriety of conduct in their relationship with patients, the public, and all healthcare providers.
Ethical Principles of the Academy
The Ethical Principles form the first part of the Code of Ethics of the Academy. They serve as goals of exemplary professional conduct for which members of the Academy should constantly strive.
The principal objective of chiropractic medicine is to provide healthcare services to patients with full respect for human dignity and in the best interest of the patient. Members should understand the gravity of the confidence of patients entrusted to their care, rendering to each a full measure of service and commitment.
Members should strive continually to improve their clinical knowledge and skill and make these improvements available to their patients.
Members should at all times be aware of their clinical limitations and be willing to seek consultations with other healthcare disciplines where appropriate.
Members should safeguard the public and the Academy against chiropractic physicians lacking in moral character or professional competence by reporting, to the appropriate regulatory body, without hesitation, perceived illegal or unethical conduct of members of the chiropractic profession.
Academy members should uphold all laws, uphold the dignity and honor of the chiropractic profession and deal fairly with patients and members of all healthcare disciplines for the benefit of the patient.
Academy members shall not reveal confidences entrusted to them in the course of patient care unless they are required to do so by law, or unless it becomes necessary to protect the welfare of the individual or of the community.
The decision to render a service by is a matter of the individual chiropractic physician and patient. This decision should always be based on the best interests of the patient.
The Academy’s Ethics Rules are mandatory and directive of specific minimal standards of professional conduct for all members of the Academy.
Members’ behavior should conform to high standards of ethical, legal, and professional conduct. Any activity that fails to conform to these standards compromises the member’s personal integrity and casts doubt on the Academy and the chiropractic profession as a whole.
Members should have the right to enter into whatever lawful contractual arrangements with health care systems they deem desirable and necessary. They should seek to ensure that the system of healthcare delivery in which they practice does not unduly influence the appropriate care and treatment of a patient.
Members should not enter into an agreement that prohibits the provision of medically necessary care or that requires care at below acceptable standards. Notwithstanding policies of any given health plan, members should advocate cost-effective appropriate treatment in the best interests of the patient.
Members should clearly respond to inquiries by patients regarding fees or any financial incentive with a facility, diagnostic imaging facility and/or laboratory. A member should not participate in a billing arrangement that misleads patients or third-party payers concerning the fees charged by the member.
In providing expert testimony, members should understand that their testimony be non-partisan, , and clinically accurate and represent the standard of care.
Members should not publicize themselves through any medium or forum of public communication in an untruthful, misleading, or deceptive manner or in a fashion demeaning to the chiropractic profession.