In the true sense of the word, ‘ethics’ is not merely a set of rules for behavior, but a branch of philosophy that deals with the search for ideal behavior. At the onset the student is urged to remember that for professional personnel, ethical behavior is a dynamic process of developing judgment, sensitivity and motivation for the kind of behavior that is needed, as well as learning the rules. “Professional Ethics” as discussed in this section stress specific guidelines that will help the student in his/her efforts to achieve the behavior necessary in the health care setting.
In the health care fields, which involve direct patient contact, professional ethics are based upon two major considerations of patient care. These may be expressed as follows:
Consider the welfare of the patient first, subjugating all things to the end.
Put yourself in the patient’s place and treat the patient as you would wish to be treated.
The codes of ethics in the medical imaging and radiation science disciplines represent the public codes upon which we base the rules and regulations governing our daily behavior as professionals who are in contact with patients, peers, supervisors, other professional practitioners and the health care community at large. These codes, which are studied in the AHS Medical Ethics course, contain central themes that are found in the codes of all of our respective professions.
Educational programs of the department are designed to prepare students to function in the delivery of health care services to patients in the clinical setting. This means that the student will be obliged to accept special responsibilities and conduct himself/herself in a manner appropriate to such a setting. This section is designed to assist and support this goal.
While it is important to anticipate all situations arising in the clinical setting and in the interaction of students with the professional community, some basic guidelines having universal application are discussed below.