CODE OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
All active members of NUPATH agree to be bound by the following principles in their practice of homeopathy:
1. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
1.1 The homeopath’s high and only calling is to rapidly, gently and completely restore the sick to health, to “heal”, as it is termed (Organon, para. 1).
1.2 The interests of the patient should be paramount in all professional acts undertaken by the homeopath, in the promotion of homeopathy, and in the undertaking of research.
2. DISPLAY OF QUALIFICATIONS
2.1 Diplomas, accreditation certificates, and any other documents of qualifications relating to the practice of homeopathy will be prominently displayed in the place of practice.
3.1 Information given by patients is guarded by the strictest confidence, and can be subsequently divulged only when supported by a specific release signed by the patient where this is permitted by law.
3.2 The homeopath will not reveal to another the fact that a person has sought his/her services.
3.3 The homeopath will avoid any and all indiscretion regarding patient information.
3.4 The homeopath will not make use of confidential patient information in a manner harmful to the patient.
3.5 The homeopath will not make use of confidential patient information with the intent of obtaining any benefit directly or indirectly.
3.6 The homeopath may release information that identifies the patient only with the signed consent of the patient, specifying to whom the information will be released.
3.7 Information derived from patients may be utilised for research, scientific articles and other educational purposes only in a manner that ensures the anonymity of the patient.
4. PATIENT’S RIGHTS
4.1 Every person has the right to impartial access to homeopathic care without regard to age; race; gender; sexual orientation; cultural, national or ethnic origin; economic or educational background; disability; or religious or political affiliation.
4.2 The patient has the right to be interviewed and examined in a setting that affords visual and auditory privacy. This privacy can be breached by the presence of someone other than the patient, or by the use of a remote viewing/listening or video/audio recording devices only with the written consent of the patient.
4.3 The patient has the right to expect all interviews and evaluations to be conducted in a manner respectful of the patient’s personal beliefs, values and customs.
4.4 The patient and/or the legally designated patient advocate has the right to participate in any all decisions regarding his/her health care.
4.5 The patient has the right to seek a second opinion from another homeopath or from another health-care provider.
4.6 The patient has the right to request and receive, with reasonable notice and no unreasonable delay, access to his/her file.
5.1 The homeopath will endeavour to communicate clearly and compassionately with the patient (or patient advocate) regarding the analysis of state of health, advice, recommendations and homeopathic prescriptions, and will confirm that such is fully understood.
5.2 The homeopath will clearly state the nature, purpose and limits of homeopathy, specifically avoiding any promise to cure.
6. FEES FOR SERVICES
6.1 The homeopath will provide clearly written general information regarding fee structures for homeopathic consultations and will respond in full to any questions in this regard.
6.2 The homeopath may require a reasonable payment for services with regard for fee structures in the profession as a whole, and with due consideration to the varying business costs locally, and the value of experience in the field.
6.3 The homeopath may offer service free-of-charge.
6.4 The homeopath shall not profit unduly or unreasonably from the sale of remedies prescribed homeopathically to patients.
6.5 Collection procedures on overdue accounts must be taken with tact and restraint, and only after duly advising the patient of the arrears. Any interest charged on overdue accounts must be reasonable, and levied only after notice of failure of payment has been given.
7. SCOPE OF PRACTICE, PROFESSIONAL DIALOGUE & REFERRALS
7.1 The homeopath will operate within the general principles laid down in the Organon (5th and 6th editions) by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, with the intent to:
(a) maintain or restore the vital force (life energy) and/or the state of health of the patient.
(b) analyse each case individually, choosing to prescribe the diluted and potentised remedy, prepared according to homeopathic guidelines (and including the use of Mother Tinctures) which most closely resembles the symptomatology of the patient, as set out in the homeopathic Materia Medica, or which corresponds to the etiology of the disease state as revealed during analysis of the case.
7.2 The homeopath will endeavour to work in cooperation with other health-care providers involved in any individual case (such dialogue to be conducted only with the patient’s written consent) and shall not require as a condition of treatment that a patient forego other treatments he/she is undergoing or intending to undergo.
7.3 The homeopath will seek to maintain cordial relations with other health-care providers without in any way compromising professional independence. The homeopath should generally respect the therapeutic value of techniques practised by other such providers, recognising that this care may be in the best interest of the patient. Should the homeopath believe that alternative care may be of benefit to the patient, an appropriate recommendation and referral will be made.
7.4 The homeopath will be mindful of the limits of his/her knowledge and and will not undertake treatments for which he/she has neither sufficient training nor experience.
8. OBLIGATIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES TO THE PROFESSION
8.1 The homeopath must exercise his/her profession according to the highest principles.
8.2 The homeopath shall act, at all times, in his/her professional capacity in a manner which shall not compromise the reputation or dignity of the profession.
8.3 The homeopath shall not practice while judgement is impaired.
8.4 The homeopath shall not abuse his/her position of trust.
8.5 Sexual contact between homeopath and patient is prohibited.
8.6 Should the homeopath become aware of a conflict of interest he/she will disclose this to the patient and when appropriate refer to another practitioner.
8.6 The homeopath will avoid questioning the competence of any other health care provider, publicly or before a patient.
8.7 The homeopath will seek to maintain good rapport with other homeopaths.
8.8 The homeopath will provide homeopathic advice in a timely fashion whenever such advice is sought by a colleague.
9. RECORD-KEEPING AND TRANSFER OF FILES
9.1 Full and accurate records of all contacts with patients will be maintained, including, as a minimum:
a. patient’s name, address, telephone number, date of birth
b. essential details of patient’s medical history
c. dates of homeopathic consultations, and details of information given at same
d. dated details of recommendations and homeopathic prescriptions
9.2 Such records will be maintained for at least seven (7) following the last visit made by the patient, and will be released to the patient without unreasonable delay after receiving a signed request.
9.3 When a request is made to transfer a file of a patient to another practitioner, a copy of all relevant and useful information will be released in a timely fashion after receiving a signed consent from the patient.
10. CEASE TREATMENT
10.1 In the event of terminating a practice, the homeopath will make every effort to notify patients well-in-advance, and to locate a suitable “replacement” practitioner.
10.2 The homeopath may cease treatment of a specific patient for just and reasonable cause, such as: conflict of interest; loss of a patient’s confidence; inability to maintain the degree of professional detachment necessary to make unbiased treatment decisions, repeated refusal to adhere to the homeopath’s recommendations, or a pattern of non-payment of consultation fees. In such cases, a referral will be made to another homeopath.