|Prepared by: Wafaa Shwaiky. RPH.
The Pharmaceutical code of ethics is generally evolved from the medical code of ethics. They include guidelines for the pharmacist’s behaviour and attitude both at the personal and professional levels. The same standard of moral and ethical values should guide the pharmacists in their private life and while conducting their professional business as well.
Any lack of moral values in private life may lead to a lack in trust at the professional level, even with the highest professional or technical qualifications.
We can categorize the pharmacists’ moral values into three groups based on their professional relationship as the following:
A. The Pharmacist- Patient relationship.
B. The Pharmacist- Colleagues relationship.
C. The pharmacist’s self-improvement at the professional level.
A. The Pharmacist- Patient relationship:
This relationship is considered as a covenant, which means that the pharmacists have moral obligations in response to the trust received from society, based on that, pharmacist promises to:
- Respect the professional relationship with the patient and act with integrity compassion and honesty.
- Help patients achieve optimum benefit from their medications.
- Provide a competent care to the patient.
- Respect the patient needs, values and dignity.
- Support the patient's right to receive competent and ethical health care.
- Support the patient’s right to make his choice about pharmacy care.
- Provide information to the patient in an understandable way.
- Aid the patient to be an active participant in his pharmaceutical care.
- Provide pharmacy care with consideration of the patient’s personal privacy, and maintain practices that protect patient confidentiality.
- Ensure continuity of care under any circumstances.
- Protect the patient's right of confidentiality.
- Maintain the patient’s trust.
- Avoid discriminatory practices and behavior.
B- The Pharmacist- Colleagues relationship:
- All pharmacists must accept responsibility to work with colleagues, health care professionals, and others, to promote safe and effective pharmacy care.
Pharmacists should first consider the welfare of the patient when they suspect incompetence or unethical conduct by a health care professional. They should engage in direct discussion with the health care professional involved, if a situation can be resolved without peril to the patient.
Pharmacists must honour the teamwork.
C- The pharmacist’s self Improvement at the professional level.
Each pharmacist from his site must endeavour to ensure that the practice environment contributes to safe and effective pharmacy care.
The pharmacist must commit to lifelong learning designed to maintain relevant knowledge and skills.