NOV 07, 2022
The following revision to Code of Ethics Rule 13, Communications to the Public, was approved by general membership vote following Academy 2022. The recommended revision is designed to address general physician-spread health-related misinformation which leads to public confusion, erodes trust, and undermines confidence in the integrity of the medical profession.
This revision will become effective on January 1, 2023.
- Communications to the Public. Communications to the public must be accurate. They must not convey false, untrue, deceptive, or misleading information through statements, testimonials, photographs, graphics, or other means. They must not omit material information without which the communications would be deceptive. Communications must not appeal to an individual’s anxiety in an excessive or unfair way; and they must not create unjustified expectations of results. Communications must not promote health-related misinformation or claims that are false, deceptive, or misleading; statements based on opinion must be identified as such and must not contain material claims of safety and/or efficacy that cannot be substantiated. If communications refer to benefits or other attributes of ophthalmic procedures that involve significant risks, realistic assessments of their safety and efficacy must also be included, as well as the availability of alternatives and, where necessary to avoid deception, descriptions and/or assessments of the benefits or other attributes of those alternatives. Communications must not misrepresent an ophthalmologist’s credentials, training, experience, or ability, and must not contain material claims of superiority that cannot be substantiated. If a communication results from payment by an ophthalmologist, this must be disclosed unless the nature, format, or medium makes it apparent.
To read the Code of Ethics, visit aao.org/ethics-detail/code-of-ethics
To submit a question, email firstname.lastname@example.org