Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics [pdf]

Recognizing that the American Urological Association seeks to exemplify and develop the finest standards of urologic care, I hereby pledge myself, as a condition of membership, to live in strict adherence with its principles and regulations. I pledge myself to pursue the practice of urology with honesty and place the welfare and rights of my patients above all else. I pledge to deal with each patient as I would wish to be dealt with myself. I will render services to humanity with full respect for human dignity, giving full measure of service and devotion, and using my skills to the very best of my abilities. I pledge myself to cooperate in advancing and extending the art and science of urology by my attentive diligent membership in the American Urological Association.

I will maintain my qualifications by continued study using the scientific basis of evidence and proof, for medical knowledge must continuously be maintained and improved. All this so that I may select the best alternative for a particular patient's care. I will advance my knowledge and skills, respect my colleagues, seek their counsel when in doubt about my own abilities, and assist my colleagues whenever requested. I will accept that "competence" includes having adequate and proper knowledge to make professionally appropriate and acceptable decisions regarding management of the patient's problems, as well as the ability and skill to perform what is necessary to be done and to ensure that the aftercare is the best available to the patient.

I will safeguard the public and the profession from physicians deficient in moral character or professional competence, and will expose to the proper authorities without hesitation any illegal or unethical conduct of fellow members of the profession, or of those who engage in fraud or deception. I will encourage impaired physicians to seek help and to withdraw from those aspects of practice affected by their impairment. I will report to appropriate authorities suspected abuse or neglect of patients, sexual harassment and exploitation, and/or sexual misconduct in patient-physician relationships.

Physician-patient confidences will be safeguarded within the constraints of the law.

Pre- and post-operative care of my surgical patient and continuing care of my medical patient will be my personal responsibility unless specifically designated to a competent substitute. Any delegation of my services will be to appropriately trained physicians or physician-extenders (PA's or NP's). I will accept income only for medical services actually rendered or supervised by me, and my remuneration will be commensurate with services rendered, regardless of who pays the bill.

Any advertising I use will be honest and straightforward, not false, misleading, fraudulent, extravagant, or deceptive. My communications with the public will be accurate, and I will not misrepresent my training, my credentials, my experience, or my ability. When asked or when presenting data that may involve a conflict of interest, I will disclose any personal commercial interests, including any gifts of more than minimal value from commercial firms or significant stock and security investments in commercial firms if there may be any effect on patient care, research, medical decisions, etc. I recognize that failure to do so will invite disciplinary action. I will be truthful, honest, and fair in dealing with patients and colleagues. If I am asked to give expert testimony in the courtroom or outside the court, my testimony will be based on recent and substantive experience in the region in which it is given. I will thoroughly review the medical facts and testify to the content fairly, honestly, and impartially, to the best of my knowledge, ability, and experience, neither condemning practices clearly within accepted standards nor excusing performances clearly outside such standards.

I will conduct my research and perform my academic activities in an honest, fair, truthful, and complete fashion, recognizing my responsibilities to myself, my reputation, my colleagues, my institution, society in general, and to posterity to do so. The dissemination of information is inherent in the pursuit of investigation. Timely and appropriate reporting of results is a responsibility I accept in doing research of any kind. As an author I will verify that I and my associates in the research are familiar with and have adhered to the guidelines for responsible ethical research. I will assure that the use of clinical trials or investigative procedures follow the accepted guidelines and standards as drawn up by local Institutional Review Boards that monitor investigations or by the similar Institutional Review Boards at the National Institutes of Health. Any support by commercial firms for my research will be completely disclosed by all involved in a written statement when reporting such research in any forum whatsoever.

I will acknowledge that my commitment to a patient is total once I accept the case, and if I withdraw from providing that care, I will endeavor to assist in obtaining an adequate substitute. I will condemn unnecessary surgery as an extremely serious ethical violation, and will not engage in fee splitting or itinerant surgery---surgery anywhere without appropriate preoperative evaluation or adequate and skilled postoperative care.

I will consider informed consent integral to providing appropriate medical or surgical care. I recognize that my patient must be provided with all of the information necessary to consent and to make his own choice of treatment, regardless of my own advice or judgment. The information provided must include known risks and benefits, costs, reasonable expectations and possible complications, available alternative treatments and their cost, as well as the identification of other medical personnel who will be participating directly in the care delivery. Wherever feasible, I will respect my patient's rights and be limited by the scope of my patient's consent.

I will obey the law. I will seek to change laws that are contrary to the best interests of the patient. I will accept the profession's self-imposed discipline.

I believe my responsibilities to the community and to society are part of a physician's code and that a physician must safeguard the public.

I will work constantly to improve this Code of Ethics, thereby improving the care I deliver and its value to society. I recognize that there will be a need from time to time to amend or change some portions of this Code. Emerging issues inevitably will appear involving "Ethics." Those must be judiciously considered in the light of the best interests of the individual, of society, and of the yet-unforeseen consequences of the various alternative actions. Hopefully this Code of Ethics will serve as a frame work for evaluating and deciding on these emerging issues.

These I pledge.

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