CODE OF MEDICAL ETHICS
(Approved by the Delegate Committee 12 December 2014)
The physician’s profession is demanding and carries profound responsibilities. For a physician to be able to carry out his task, he needs, in addition to proper knowledge, a desire to fulfill the ethical responsibilities of the medical profession which have evolved over the millennia. A physician gains trust on the basis of his knowledge, his proficiency and his person. In accordance with these principles, the Delegate Committee of the Finnish Medical Association has adopted the following code to be observed by physicians in their profession.
- It is the physician's duty to uphold and promote health, to prevent and treat the illnesses of his patients and to alleviate their sufferings. In all his work, the physician must respect life and humanity. The physician shall never participate in torture, the implementation of a death sentence or any other inhuman actions or preparation thereof.
- The physician shall behave and act in such a way that the appreciation and trust placed on the medical profession needed for carrying out the duties of a physician are maintained.
- The physician shall treat patients as equals, with fairness and without discrimination.
- The physician shall respect the patient’s right to make decisions concerning his care and encourage the patient to participate in making decisions concerning his care. Fulfilment of the patient’s autonomy shall be supported as far as possible, also when the physician is compelled to act irrespective of the patient’s will.
- A physician shall maintain and improve his knowledge and skills. He shall use and recommend only such examinations and therapies which medical knowledge and experience have shown to be effective and purposeful.
- The physician shall support and promote scientific research within his field of expertise. When carrying our clinical studies, the physician must follow the principles of informed consent and the other requirements laid down by the Helsinki Declaration.
- The physician shall maintain confidentiality and promote the confidentiality of patient information.
- The physician shall treat the patient in accordance with the patient’s need of help and set his fee in accordance with the work he has performed. A physician may not seek unfounded tangible benefit.
- When issuing certificates and statements the physician functions as an impartial expert approved by society. His statement must be based on the objective findings of a thorough examination and on a critical evaluation of these findings and other background information.
- When appearing in public, the physician must observe strict consideration, avoid unfounded self-emphasis and show respect for patients. As a physician he shall base his statements on medical knowledge and experience.
- The physician shall act and work in a way that upholds and promotes collegiality to the benefit of patients and maintains the valuable sprit of collegiality and good comradeship.
- The physician shall actively pursue efforts that allow him to fulfill these duties and to follow these principles in his work.