• Pertinent Principles and Rules of the Code of Ethics related to Professionalism and Collegiality

    Preamble
    The Code of Ethics of the American Academy of Ophthalmology applies to the American Academy of Ophthalmology and to its Fellows and Members in any class of membership, and is enforceable by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

    A. Principles Of Ethics
    The Principles of Ethics form the first part of this Code of Ethics. They are aspirational and inspirational model standards of exemplary professional conduct for all Fellows or Members of the Academy in any class of membership. They serve as goals for which Academy Fellows and Members should constantly strive. The Principles of Ethics are not enforceable.

    1. Ethics in Ophthalmology. Ethics address conduct and relate to what behavior is appropriate or inappropriate, as reasonably determined by the entity setting the ethical standards. An issue of ethics in ophthalmology is resolved by the determination that the best interests of patients are served.

    2. Providing Ophthalmological Services. Ophthalmological services must be provided with compassion, respect for human dignity, honesty and integrity.

    7. An Ophthalmologist's Responsibility. It is the responsibility of an ophthalmologist to act in the best interest of the patient.

    8. Professional Integrity in Research. It is the responsibility of the ophthalmologist to maintain integrity in clinical and basic research. Professional relations with industry regarding research should advance the best interests of patients and the profession.

    9. Community Responsibility. The honored ideals of the medical profession imply that the responsibility of the ophthalmologist extends not only to the individual but also to society as a whole. Activities that have the purpose of improving the health and well-being of the patient and/or the community in a cost-effective way deserve the interest, support, and participation of the ophthalmologist.

    B. Rules of Ethics
    The Rules of Ethics form the second part of this Code of Ethics. They are mandatory and descriptive standards of minimally-acceptable professional conduct for all Fellows or Members of the Academy in any class of membership. The Rules of Ethics are enforceable.

    12. Communications to Colleagues. Communications to colleagues must be accurate and truthful.

    14. Interrelations Between Ophthalmologists. Interrelations between ophthalmologists must be conducted in a manner that advances the best interests of the patient, including the sharing of relevant information.

    15. Conflict of Interest. A conflict of interest exists when professional judgment concerning the well- being of the patient has a reasonable chance of being influenced by other interests of the provider. Disclosure of a conflict of interest is required in communications to patients, the public, and colleagues.