The Code of Ethics of the Laboratory Medicine Specialists
Laboratory medicine (LM) specialists shall conduct in a manner that does not bring into disrepute the discipline and the profession of Laboratory Medicine. They shall value integrity, impartiality and respect for persons and evidence and shall seek to establish the highest standards of quality and ethics
in their work as LM specialists.
LM specialists shall abide codes of ethics of relevant healthcare fields until they do not compromise this Code of Ethics and legislative provisions of the Republic of Lithuania. Dealing with by laws not regulated, insufficiently regulated, debatable cases or ethical dilemmas LM specialists shall be guided by: The International Code of Medical Ethics by World Medical Association (WMA), The renewed Hippocratic Oath by The Lithuanian Association of The World Federation of Doctors Who Respect Human Life, The Code of Ethics of Lithuanian Doctors by The Union of Lithuanian Doctors, The Code of Conduct by The European Register of Specialists in Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine.
LM specialists in their professional work, while cooperating and communicating with patients, between each other or with other professional specialists shall abide to values and principles of this Code of Ethics:
1. Quality and excellence. LM specialists shall put their knowledge and ability concerning laboratory diagnostics (including the indication for analyses, the reliability of the results, the interpretation of results and scientific research) at the service of diagnosis, therapy and prevention of human diseases. At all times, they shall act in the best interests of patients, subject to any over-riding legal requirements, with the highest standards of competency and integrity.
2. Continuous professional development. To optimally fulfil their duties and in accordance with what is regarded as good practice in their profession and having regard to the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, the LM specialists shall:
- maintain and develop their competence at the highest level of quality by following all relevant (scientific and practical) developments concerning health care in general and Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine, by participating in relevant training courses and other appropriate continuous professional development programmes throughout their working life, and by practicing their profession on a regular basis;
- accept assignments only within their area of competence; beyond this limit, they will seek the collaboration of appropriate experts;
- keep up-to-date with statutory codes of practice which affect their work.
LM specialists will display their commitment to the profession of Laboratory Medicine by taking part in the activities of the Lithuanian Society of Laboratory Medicine, notably those which promote the profession, and contribute to continuing training of their members.
3. Compliance with codes of ethics and conduct. LM specialists shall comply not only with the provisions of this Code of Ethics but also codes of ethics of relevant healthcare fields until they do not compromise this Code of Ethics and legislative provisions of the Republic of Lithuania. LM specialists shall avoid any situation giving birth to the conflict of private and public interests, shall not engage in the activities which create circumstances for risk of corruption to appear. According to the laws of the Republic of Lithuania they shall provide the information on their activities to the public, state governmental and local self-governmental institutions.
4. Honesty and integrity. The professional integrity and intellectual honesty of the LM specialists shall be the guarantee of their impartiality of analysis, judgment and consequent decisions. The LM specialists shall always avoid deceit in professional and scientific respect, such as fraud, plagiarism, concealment, improper omission of information, and expressing incorrect or misleading opinions.
5. Confidentiality. LM specialists will ensure that information about a patient or other individual is not disclosed to others except in the Republic of Lithuania laws specified circumstances.
6. Relationship with other specialists. LM specialists shall always act with courtesy, honesty and integrity in their relationships with other healthcare professional specialists, shall respect their dignity, opinion, beliefs and values, shall appreciate work done by other health professionals including colleagues.
7. Conflict with moral and ethical beliefs. LM specialists are not obliged to offer to provide a professional service in ways which conflict with their own moral or religious beliefs, but must respect the moral, religious and cultural beliefs of individual patients. If LM specialists have agreed to provide a service, they must set aside any personal religious, cultural, philosophical or other convictions. They must ensure equitable access to their services to all who are entitled to use them, not discriminating individuals by gender, age, language, ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, education, disability, religion, beliefs or political views.
8. Delegation and supervision. As head and/or member of the team operating in the medical laboratory, the LM specialist will, given the specific circumstances of the situation concerned:
- obtain a clear definition of the services required of him and/or his team;
- ensure that all activities in the laboratory are organized and executed as accurately and as quickly as possible;
- protect the safety and well-being of his colleagues and be conscious of nature and the environment;
- show respect for superiors, colleagues and subordinates by taking due account of their requirements and aspirations, provided they conform to the laws and ethics of their profession;
- strive for a high level of technical achievement which will also contribute to and promote a healthy and agreeable environment for his colleagues;
- ensure that any member of support staff to whom a task is delegated has the knowledge, skills and competencies necessary to undertake that task effectively and efficiently, and that appropriate supervision is in place;
- retain responsibility for the task delegated, except when the delegated person is at the same level of professional qualification.
9. Marketing (advertising, public relations) and provision of information. LM specialists in both the public and private health sectors shall ensure that any publicly provided information on Laboratory Medicine services is accurate, honest, legal, decent and proportionate, and focused solely on the professional services offered. LM specialists shall not provide information which does not meet the reality and is misleading. They shall always ensure published advertisements or performed marketing actions are honest and objective, but not derogatory to other healthcare services providers.
Approved by the Board of the Lithuanian Society of Laboratory Medicine on 20th November 2015 (protocol No. 4)