The IOMA Code of Ethics
- The physician shall keep in
confidence whatever he may learn about a patient in the discharge of
professional duties. Information shall be divulged by the physician
when required by law or when authorized by the patient.
- The physician shall give a candid
account of the patient's condition to the patient or to those
responsible for the patient's care.
- A physician-patient relationship
must be founded on mutual trust, cooperation, and respect. The patient,
therefore, must have complete freedom to choose his physician. The
physician must have complete freedom to choose patients whom he will
serve. However, the physician should not refuse to accept patients
because of the patient's race, creed, color, sex, national origin or
handicap. In emergencies, a physician should make his services
- A physician is never justified in
abandoning a patient. The physician shall give due notice to a patient
or to those responsible for the patient's care when he withdraws from
the case so that another physician may be engaged.
- A physician shall practice in
accordance with the body of systematized and scientific knowledge
related to the healing arts. A physician shall maintain competence in
such systematized and scientific knowledge through study and clinical
- The osteopathic profession has an
obligation to society to maintain its high standards and therefore, to
continuously regulate itself. A substantial part of such regulation is
due to the efforts and influence of the recognized local, state, and
national associations representing the osteopathic profession. A
physician should maintain membership in and actively support such
associations and abide by their rules and regulations.
- Under the law a physician may
advertise, but no physician shall advertise or solicit patients
directly or indirectly through the use of matters or activities which
are false or misleading.
- A physician shall not hold forth or
indicate possession of any degree recognized as the basis for licensure
to practice the healing arts unless he is actually licensed on the
basis of that degree in the state in which he practices. A physician
shall designate his osteopathic school of practice in all professional
uses of his name. Indications of specialty practice, membership in
professional societies, and related matters shall be governed by rules
promulgated by the American Osteopathic Association.
- A physician shall obtain
consultation whenever requested to do so by the patient. A physician
should not hesitate to seek consultation whenever he himself believes
- In any dispute between or among
physicians involving ethical or organizational matter, the matter in
controversy should first be referred to the appropriate arbitrating
bodies of the profession.
- In any dispute between or among
physicians regarding the diagnosis and treatment of a patient, the
attending physician has the responsibility for final decisions,
consistent with any applicable osteopathic hospital rules or
- Any fee charged by a physician shall
compensate the physician for services actually rendered. There shall be
no division of professional fees for referrals of patients.
- A physician shall respect the law.
When necessary a physician shall attempt to formulate the law by all
proper means in order to improve patient care and public health.
- In addition to adhering to the
foregoing ethical standards, a physician should whenever possible
participate in community activities and services.