The Physician Charter describes a number of commitments that doctors who believe in human rights should make.
Commitment to professional competence
- Physicians must be committed to lifelong learning and are responsible for maintaining medical knowledge as well as clinical and team skills.
Commitment to honesty with patients
- Physicians need to ensure patients are completely and honestly informed before patients have consented to treatment and after treatment has occurred.
- Physicians need to inform patients of medical errors in order to provide a basis for appropriate prevention and improvement strategies and to appropriate compensation to injured parties.
Commitment to patient confidentiality
- Physicians must earn the trust and confidence of patients by applying confidentiality safeguards to the disclosure of patient information.
Commitment to maintaining appropriate relations with patients
- Physicians should never exploit patients for any sexual advantage, personal financial gain, or other private purpose.
Commitment to improving quality of care
- Physicians must be dedicated to continuous improvement in the quality of health care by working collaboratively with other professionals to reduce medical error, increase patient safety, minimize overuse of health care resources, and optimize the outcomes of care.
Commitment to improving access to care
- Medical professionalism demands that the objective of all health care systems be the availability of a uniform and adequate standard of care.
- Physicians must work to eliminate barriers to access based on education, laws, finances, geography, and social discrimination.
- Physicians must also promote public health and preventative medicine, as well as public advocacy.
Commitment to a just distribution of finite resources
- Physicians are required to provide health care that is based on the wise and cost-effective management of limited clinical resources.
Commitment to scientific knowledge
- Physicians have a duty to uphold scientific standards, to promote research, and to create new knowledge and ensure its appropriate use.
Commitment to maintaining trust by managing conflicts of interest
- Physicians have an obligation to recognize, disclose to the general public, and deal with conflicts of interest that arise in the course of their professional duties and activities.
Commitment to professional responsibilities
- Physicians are expected to work collaboratively to maximize patient care, be respectful of one another, and participate in the process of self regulation, including remediation and discipline of members who have failed to meet professional standards.