Colleges’ Codes of Ethics
All regulated health professionals in BC must follow their colleges’ code of ethics, which articulates their ethical and professional commitments and responsibilities as a health care professional. Colleges asked BC-PAN for input to better understand the public’s expectations of key elements that should be included in their codes of ethics as well as their ideas for publicly communicating codes of ethics.
Regulatory colleges protect the public by maintaining a searchable and public directory of registrants. The college partners sought input from the BC-PAN regarding what information the public expects to find on their public registers, as well as ways to increase public awareness and use of public registers.
Dual relationships occur when a health care professional treats family members, close personal friendships, commercial relationships or others with whom they have a non-professional relationship. College partners and public advisors explored some key considerations for regulating dual relationships, such as the welfare of the person being given health care, effectiveness of service or treatment, avoidance of harm and exploitation, conflict of interest, and the impairment of clinical judgment.
Enhancing Communication and Informed Consent
To support patients to be empowered partners in their health care, they need to understand the services and treatments being offered to them. Exploring what informed consent means to the public, how the process should look at all stages of care, and why it is important can help regulators understand public expectations how the consent process should work. BC-PAN input on this topic will be used to:
Practitioners Selling Products and Services
When health care providers engage in the sale or endorsement of products or treatments, it may constitute a conflict of interest. At the same time, some members of the public may desire access to these additional services or products. Understanding what the public may find questionable, unethical or confusing when health providers endorse or sell products or treatments will be helpful for the colleges in regulating conduct.
Practitioners Leaving Practice
Health care providers may leave their practice when moving to another location, retiring, or discontinuing care for any number of reasons. Some colleges set out clear expectations for health care providers who are leaving practice, while others do not. Colleges would like to learn what the public advisor’s expectations are of health care providers who are leaving practice to help guide practice standards, guidelines, and patient resources.
Public Support Outside the Complaints Process
Not all unsatisfactory interactions with a health care provider are appropriate for the formal complaints process. Colleges learned how they can better address questions from the public about their interactions with a health care provider so they can make informed decisions. BC-PAN members considered what the patient’s needs might be and how colleges can respond to those needs, within their mandate and capacity.
2020-2021 End of Year Summary
Following a successful pilot phase, 2020-2021 was the first operational year of the BC-PAN. The end of year summary describes the work and activities of the BC-PAN from September 2020 to February 2021. It highlights new additions to the BC-PAN along with learnings and college actions throughout the year.