26 May 2014

The NZMA Council has ratified the revised Code of Ethics—the culmination of nearly two years’ work by the Ethics Committee. The revised Code will be available shortly, via the NZMA website.

The revised Code contains new recommendations on the provision of culturally safe and competent care, remote consultations (eg, telemedicine) and social media, and a new section on Doctors in a Just and Caring Society. This section has pulled together recommendations that were previously in other parts of the Code and expanded on the role of doctors in health advocacy.

The section on inappropriate patient–doctor relationships has been broadened to include all breaches of sexual boundaries. Clarification was provided that where the Code refers to family, it also encompasses whānau.

The Ethics Committee also recommended some minor additions regarding confidentiality, informed consent, security when transferring data, and providing support to families involved in organ donation. The order of the Code has been revised, to better group clauses on similar topics.