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Medicine and Commerce

Commercial and Ethical Aspects of Research

Professional Standards Regarding Commercial and Ethical Aspects of Research Preamble The College seeks to ensure that all medical research conducted by physicians is safe for patients and conducted with appropriate ethical rigour. The College endorses the medical research approval policies of the Nova Scotia Health Authority Research and Ethics Board, the IWK Health Sciences Centre and the Dalhousie University Health Sciences Research Ethics Board. Professional Standards Physicians must only participate in medical research approved by the: Nova Scotia Health Authority Research Ethics Board; IWK Research Ethics Board

Interest or Ownership in a Facility or Enterprise

Professional Standards Regarding Interest or Ownership in a Facility or Enterprise Preamble This document deals with specific conflicts of interest that may arise when a physician has financial interest or ownership in a facility or business.  This document sets out responsibilities in addition to those set out in the College’s Professional Standards Regarding Conflict of Interest. Professional Standard(s) Where the physician has a financial interest in a facility or enterprise to which the physician is referring a patient, the physician: must fully disclose any interest the physician has in the facility to a patient prior to any referral to that facility; [...]

Physician Participation in Continuing Professional Development

Professional Standards Regarding Physician Participation in Continuing Professional Development Preamble The primary purpose of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) activities is to address the educational needs of physicians in order to improve the health care provided to patients. The interests of industry always include a profit motive, which may influence the delivery of CPD. This standard identifies the responsibilities of physicians involved in organizing, presenting or attending a continuing medical education event. Professional Standard(s) Physicians must ensure the scientific validity, objectivity and completeness of any information they present at a CPD event. Physicians must disclose where any presentation materials they use have been developed by industry. Physicians must [...]

Advertising and Public Communications by Physicians

Professional Standards Regarding Advertising and Public Communications by Physicians Preamble Canadian law recognizes advertising by professionals as protected free speech, with such advertising to be regulated to maintain a high standard of professionalism. Professional Standard(s) Physicians must ensure that any public communication is compatible with the best interests of the public and upholds the reputation of the medical profession. Regardless of the medium, all communication by physicians with the public must not be misleading or deceptive. Advertising Specifically, any communication by physicians with the public must not: claim or imply any superiority of [...]

Billing

Professional Standards Regarding Billing Preamble The College endorses the Canadian Medical Association Code of Ethics, which recognizes that physicians must not exploit patients and must use healthcare resources prudently. Medical care is changing, with more delivery by physicians of publicly uninsured services (hence private medicine) in addition to insured services paid for by the Nova Scotia Medical Services Insurance Program or MSI (hence public medicine). Whether for private or public medicine, inappropriate billing is recognized by the College as a form of professional misconduct. When providing private medical services, physicians bear the responsibility to inform their patients about the commercial aspects of the [...]

Conflict of Interest

Professional Standards Regarding Conflict of Interest Preamble A conflict of interest exists whenever a reasonable person could perceive that a physician’s personal interest is at odds with the physician’s professional responsibilities. Conflict of interest can be actual or perceived, provided the perception is reasonable. At all times the onus is on the physician to demonstrate that the patient’s interests have been maintained as paramount. Recognition and disclosure of a conflict of interest alone may not ensure that the patient’s best interests have been maintained. Professional Standard(s) In all situations of conflict of interest, the physician must: Recognize the conflict; Disclose the conflict to the patient, [...]

Sale of Products and Services to Patients

Professional Standards Regarding the Sale of Products and Services to Patients Preamble The sale of products or services by physicians to patients gives rise to potential ethical problems. The College endorses the Canadian Medical Association Code of Ethics, as it relates to the sale of products or services by physicians to patients. This standard should be read in conjunction with the College’s Professional Standards Regarding Conflict of Interest. Professional Standard(s) Physicians must disclose to patients any financial interest they have with the manufacture or sale of a product or service.