Code of Ethics

The Canadian Society for Traditional Osteopathy
Socato

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Chapter 1 : GENERAL DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TO THE PUBLIC

Chapter 2 : DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TO THE PATIENT

2.1    General Duties and Obligations

2.2    Integrity

2.3    Availability and Diligence

2.4    Responsibility

2.5    Independence and Impartiality

2.6    Patient Confidentiality

2.7    Setting and Payment of Fees

Chapter 3: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS OSTEOPATHY

3.1   Incompatible Offices and Functions

3.2   Derogatory Acts

3.3   Osteopathic practice

3.4   Peer Relationships

3.5   Relations with SOCATO

Chapter 4: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS RELATING TO ADVERTISING

4.1   General Regulations

4.2   Business Cards and Stationary

4.3   Information and Print Media

4.4   Use of SOCATO Logo

Chapter 5: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS RELATED TO RECORD KEEPING AND CONSULTATION ROOMS

5.1   In General

5.2   Keeping of Consultation Rooms

5.3   Record Keeping

5.4   Accessibility of Records

Chapter 1: GENERAL DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TO THE PUBLIC

  1. The member of the Canadian Society for Traditional Osteopathy (hereto referred to as the Society) must promote the practise of osteopathy by supporting educational and informational measures in the field in which s/he practises.
  2. A member of the Society who expresses osteopathic beliefs and/or provides information to the public through any medium must do so in moderation, and must remain objective, dignified and respectful..
  3. The member of the Society shall not, directly or indirectly, publish or publicly disseminate any report or comment that s/he knows to be false or that is clearly false with respect to osteopathy, a patient or to another member or the Society.
  4. The member of the Society must uphold the authority and objectives of the Society.

Chapter 2: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TO THE PATIENT

2.1 GENERAL REGULATIONS

2.1.1 The member of the Society has a duty, in the exercise of their osteopathic practice, to prioritize the overall health and wellbeing of their patients.

2.1.2 The member of the Society must practise osteopathy in accordance with the principles taught, with integrity, dignity, availability, impartiality, responsibility and confidentiality.

2.1.3 Prior to agreeing to undertake or continue a therapeutic plan, the member of the Society must take into account the limits of their abilities, knowledge and means at their disposal. In particular, s/he must not undertake or continue a therapeutic plan for which s/he is not sufficiently prepared, without obtaining the necessary assistance.

2.1.4 The member of the Society must seek to establish a mutual level of trust with the patient.

2.1.5 The member of the Society shall refrain from interfering in the patient’s personal affairs, or in matters that do not fall within the generally realm of osteopathy.

2.2   INTEGRITY

2.2.1  The member of the Society must carry out their therapeutic obligations with integrity. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the member of the Society shall not:

a)  directly or indirectly, mislead their patient, whether acting alone or with the assistance of others. In particular, s/he must avoid any misrepresentation as to their level of competency, as to the effectiveness of their services and those provided by other members of the Society.

b)  issue to any person and for any reason whatsoever, a certificate, statement, report or other document relating to the health of a patient containing information that the member knows is false.

c)  in the context of a given therapeutic intervention, seek, obtain or improperly grant any unjustified profit, commission, rebate or material benefit whatsoever to the member, to the patient or to any other person.

d)  carry out or multiply, without justification, contradictory or incomplete therapeutic acts.

e)  conceal from the patient any risk inherent in the therapeutic consultation.

f)  conceal from the patient any prejudicial errors made during a therapeutic consultation.

g)  give the patient a deliberately or manifestly incorrect assessment of their therapeutic needs

h)  perform or multiply, without justification, therapeutic acts that are inappropriate or disproportionate to the patient’s needs.

i)  guarantee, directly or indirectly the curing of a patient, or claim responsibility for it.

j)  abuse, in the application of their practise, the inexperience, ignorance, naivety or poor health of the patient, in order to obtain any benefit.

k)  claim any sum of money from a patient for a therapeutic act, knowing that the cost is also borne by a third party.

l)  maintain any physical, mental or emotional relationship with a patient.

m) give an opinion on the general state of health of a patient without investigation by a legally recognized health professional.

 

2.3   AVAILABILITY AND DILIGENCE

2.3.1 The member of the Society must demonstrate, in the exercise of their practice, availability and due diligence.

2.3.2 The member of the Society must provide the patient with the necessary explanations in order for them to understand and appreciate the therapeutic intervention.

2.3.3 The member of the Society may not, except on just and reasonable grounds, interrupt any patient’s therapy before its completion. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the following in part constitute just and reasonable grounds:

a) loss of patient’s trust;

b) being deceived by the patient or their refusal to cooperate;

c) incitement by the patient to perform illegal, unjust, immoral or fraudulent acts;

d) a conflict of interest, or in a context where their independence as a therapist could be questioned;

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e) personal incompatibility;

f) a patient’s refusal to honour their obligations.

 

2.3.4  When the member of the Society prematurely interrupts any form of a patient’s therapeutic intervention, the member must, as much as possible, ensure that the patient takes the necessary measures to avoid serious and foreseeable harm.

2.4    RESPONSIBILITY

2.4.1  A member of the Society shall not, in any way, in the course of their practice, evade or attempt to evade their personal civil liability toward their patient.

2.5   INDEPENDENCE AND IMPARTIALITY

2.5.1  The member of the Society must at all times preserve their independence of practice and avoid any situation in which they would be in a conflict of interest, particularly when the interests involved are such that the member may tend to prefer some of those interests to those of the patient being treated, or such that the member’s judgment, integrity and loyalty towards the patient being treated may be affected.

2.5.2  The member of the Society shall not, under any circumstances consider or be influenced by any patient or third party, such that the exercising of the member’s osteopathic duties may be compromised.

2.5.3  As soon as it becomes apparent that the member of the Society is in a situation of conflict of interest, or in a situation that could lead to a conflict of interest, the member of the Society must notify the patient and ask them if s/he authorizes the member to proceed.

2.6   PATIENT CONFIDENTIALITY

2.6.1  A member of the Society shall keep confidential anything that has come to light over the course of treatments, and shall refrain from having indiscreet conversations about patients or the services rendered to those patients, and from revealing that a person has been treated by the member, unless the nature of the patient’s case so requires, and then only with the consent of the patient.

2.6.2  A member of the Society shall take reasonable steps with any employees in order to preserve patient confidentiality.

2.6.3  A member of the Society may only be relieved of professional discretion through the written consent of the patient, or when required by law.
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2.6.4  When a member of the Society requests that confidential information be disclosed by a patient, the member must ensure that the patient is fully aware of the purpose of the request, and the various ways that that information may be used.

2.6.5  The member of the Society shall not use confidential information to the detriment of a patient and/or to obtain directly or indirectly, any advantage or any benefit for others.

2.7   SETTING AND PAYMENT OF FEES

2.7.1  The member of the Society shall ensure that the patient is informed of the approximate and foreseeable cost of the service.

2.7.2  The member of the Society shall request and accept a fair and reasonable fee.

2.7.3  Fees are fair and reasonable if justified by the circumstances, and proportionate to the treatment provided. In particular, the member of the Society must consider the following factors in determining fees:

a) their level of experience;

b) the amount of time devoted to the treatment;

c) the difficulty of the treatment provided;

d) the provision of unusual treatments, or those requiring a particular level
of competence or a certain promptness;

2.7.4  The member of the Society must provide the patient with all necessary information in order to ensure an understanding of the fees and the payment terms.

2.7.5  The member of the Society shall refrain from requiring payment of services in advance.

2.7.6  The member of the Society shall refrain from claiming fees for treatment and/or services not provided, or falsely described.

2.7.7  The member of the Society may claim fair and reasonable compensation for the failure of a patient to attend a scheduled appointment, without cancellation, resulting in a net loss of time, provided that a prior explanatory agreement has been made with the patient.

Chapter 3: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS OSTEOPATHY

3.1   INCOMPATIBLE OFFICES AND FUNCTIONS

3.1.1  The use of a member’s name, practice or status as an osteopath for any commercial purpose other than for the practise of osteopathy is incompatible with the practise of osteopathy by a member of the Society.

3.2   DEROGATORY ACTS

3.2.1  It is derogatory to the dignity of the practise of osteopathy for a member of the Society to do so:

a) to guarantee, directly or indirectly, expressly or implicitly, the cure of any disease or pathology.

b) to use their osteopathic knowledge outside their field of professional competence.

c) to perform osteopathic acts contrary to generally accepted osteopathic principles.

d) to refuse or to neglect, without justification, to respond to the Society’s requests.

e) within a reasonable time, not to inform the Society of a perceived ethical breach committed by a peer.

f) to communicate with the plaintiff, without the prior written permission of the Society, when the member is informed of a complaint of conduct or competency, or when served with a written complaint.

g) not to immediately inform the Society once aware of any impediment to the admission of a candidate to the Society.

h) to express publicly and without justification, directly or indirectly, reservations or criticisms concerning osteopathy and its practise.

i) to use, practise, transmit or communicate terms, techniques, approaches, evaluation methods and/or therapeutic intervention methods, specific to osteopathy, under other titles or designations, or to omit to mention their osteopathic origin.

3.3   OSTEOPATHIC PRACTICE

3.3.1  The member of the Society must practise in accordance with generally accepted osteopathic standards. To this end, it is recommended to maintain and improve one’s knowledge, and a minimum of thirty (30) hours of training must be undergone every two years, with an educational institution duly recognized by the Society.

3.3.2  The member of the Society must perform their therapeutic intervention with the greatest of care, using the most appropriate methods.

3.3.3  The member of the Society shall, to the extent possible, ensure that the patient receives the best, most appropriate therapeutic intervention. If it is not feasible for the member to adequately do so alone, the member must seek the collaboration of peers, or must refer the patient to another practitioner, or group of caregivers, who can provide such an intervention.
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3.3.4  The member of the Society must exercise extreme caution when s/he considers it beneficial for the patient to receive means of evaluation and/or intervention that are not widely understood and/or not proven by osteopathy and/or not recognized by other healthcare providers.

3.3.5  A member of the Society shall refrain from practising under circumstances or conditions that may compromise the quality of the services, the quality of practise.

3.3.6  The member of the Society shall only perform a therapeutic intervention if it is necessary for the wellbeing and/or condition of the patient.

3.3.7  The member of the Society must refuse to cooperate or to participate in any therapeutic intervention that would infringe on a patient’s health or wellbeing.

3.3.8  The member of the Society shall ensure that the patient and/or their representative, or persons whose consent may be required by law, have received any necessary explanations regarding the nature, purpose and possible consequences of the therapeutic assessment or intervention to be performed by the member of the Society.

3.3.9  Before undertaking a therapeutic assessment or intervention, the member of the Society must obtain from the patient and/or their representative, or persons authorized by law, an unsolicited and well-informed authorization.

3.3.10  The member of the Society assessing a patient shall:

a) inform the patient of the purpose of the clinical intervention, and of any inherent risk.

b) refrain from obtaining and/or making any disclosure or interpretation not relevant to the intervention.

c) refrain, unless there is just cause, from emitting any word or gesture likely to diminish the patient’s trust in the therapist, and/or in the work done by the therapist, and/or in the science of osteopathy.

d) if relevant, provide a report to any healthcare professional requesting an evaluation of the therapeutic intervention, unless the patient expressly disagrees.

3.3.11    In the course of osteopathic practice, the member of the Society may not entrust a person who is not a member of the Society with the performance of any acts that fall within the scope of osteopathic practice.

3.3.12  Under no circumstances may the member of the Society use the name and/or the practise of osteopathy for purposes other than for those of osteopathy, a clinical intervention distinct from other types of physical or psychosomatic approaches.

3.3.13  The member of the Society must, to the extent of their abilities, assist in the development and promotion of osteopathy, by exchanging knowledge and experiences with peers and students in training, via participation in courses, academic conferences, continuing education and/or symposiums.
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3.4  PEER RELATIONSHIPS

3.4.1  The member of the Society who is faced with doubt regarding a clinical evaluation or therapeutic intervention must not hesitate to consult a peer.

3.4.2  The member of the Society must agree to grant priority to, and to use every possible means to respond adequately, within a reasonable period of time, to the request of a peer.

3.4.3  The member of the Society shall provide a peer with any and all information deemed relevant to a given patient’s health and wellbeing, while still taking into account the rules of professional confidentiality.

3.4.4  The member of the Society shall, upon a peer’s request for consultation, promptly provide the results of the consultation with the patient, and information on any recommendations deemed necessary.

3.4.5  The member of the Society, when consulted by a peer, may not take over the patient’s care without the authorization of the initial therapist and the patient.

3.4.6  However, the member of the Society, consulted by a peer, may provide care for the patient upon the patient’s explicit request.

3.4.7  A member of the Society, caring for a patient during the absence of their original therapist shall:

a) provide to the latter, upon their return, all information relevant for the continuation of the therapeutic intervention;

b) refrain from using any intervention or means whatsoever to acquire ownership of the patient’s care.

3.4.8  The member of the Society shall, when referring a patient to a peer, provide the latter with any information that may assist in the evaluation and with any therapeutic intervention that may be provided to the patient.

3.4.9  A member of the Society who is called upon to collaborate with a peer must preserve her autonomy. If s/he is entrusted with a task contrary to her values or principles, s/he must ask to be excluded from providing care. In contentious or doubtful circumstances, she may seek advice from the Society.

3.4.10  The member of the Society must behave with integrity towards her peers, their profession, osteopathy and its institutions. S/he must not deceive a peer’s good faith, nor be guilty of a breach of trust or disloyal practices. In particular, s/he must not take credit for a peer’s work. S/he must refrain from denigrating or openly questioning the actions, means, practise or discipline of her peers, solely on the pretext of her own personal convictions and beliefs.
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3.5  RELATIONS WITH SOCATO/THE SOCIETY

3.5.1  The member of the Society shall promptly respond to any correspondence or request by the Society.

3.5.2  The member of the Society shall, after receiving reasonable notice, provide the Society with access to their clinic, patient records and any advertising/promotional material, in order to verify compliance with the Society’s Code of Ethics and Rules and Regulations.

3.5.3  The member of the Society shall promptly report to the Society any other member who there is reason to believe is unfit for practise, or who practises incompetently, dishonestly or in violation of the Code of Ethics.

3.5.4  The member of the Society shall refrain from accepting or offering any advantage or benefit for contributing to, or for having contributed to the adoption of any decision by the Board of Directors.

3.5.5  The member of the Society must support the authority and objectives of the Society.

3.5.6  It is the duty of the member of the Society, to the best of their ability, to aid the Disciplinary Committee when called upon to do so.

Chapter 4: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS RELATING TO ADVERTISING

4.1 GENERAL REGULATIONSs

• No member of the Society shall make, or permit to be made, by any means, any advertising that is false, misleading, incomplete or likely to be misleading.

• A member of the Society may not attribute to themselves any particular qualities or abilities, particularly with respect to their level of competency, or the extent of the effectiveness of their services, unless they are able to justify them.

• No member of the Society shall, in their advertising, use or permit to be used any endorsement or recognition concerning said member.
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4.2   BUSINESS CARDS AND STATIONARY

4.2.1 The member of the Society may indicate on his business cards and on any other forms of stationery:

a) his name, followed by his partners and the name under which he practises, in cases where the law permits him to practise under a name other than his own;

b) his academic titles and professional affiliations, followed by the acronym confirming his osteopathic competence;

c) the clinic’s address, telephone number, (fax number) and hours of service;

d) the graphic logo of the Society;

e) where applicable, the name of the member’s clinic, and the names of his colleagues and/or partners.

4.3   INFORMATION AND PRINT MEDIA

4.3.1  The member of the Society may publish or allow to be published in newspapers, magazines, periodicals, directories or other printed matter, an advertisement containing all or part of what is indicated in the preceding Article.

4.3.2 Upon a change of partners, the opening of a business office, her entry into an existing clinic, her first entry on the Society’s register, her appointment to a position related to the exercise of her practise, or with respect to paragraph (b) below, upon a change of address, the member of the Society may:

a) publish her photograph and/or certain biographical notes in newspapers, magazines, periodicals or other printed matter;

b) distribute to the organizations concerned a brochure, card or letter mentioning all or part of what is indicated in Article 4.2.1.

4.3.3  A member of the Society may use a public information medium to express, in compliance with this Code of Ethics, her opinion on a subject related to the exercise of her practice, and to make known her position.

4.4   USE OF SOCATO LOGO

4.4.1  When an official graphic symbol or logo of the Society is reproduced for advertising purposes, it must be official, reproduced in its entirety, and must not give the impression that it is an advertisement for the Society.

4.4.2  The member of the Society shall ensure that the use of the logo complies with the directives of the Society.
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Chapter 5: DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS RELATED TO RECORD KEEPING AND CONSULTATION ROOMS

5.1   IN GENERAL

5.1.1  In these By-Laws, unless the context indicates otherwise, “consultation room” denotes the location where the member of the Society privately receives a patient for an osteopathic consultation and treatment.

5.1.2  Nothing in these By-Laws shall be construed as precluding the use of any other technique for the constitution and maintenance of the Society member’s records.

5.2   KEEPING OF CONSULTATION ROOMS

5.2.1  The member of the Society must arrange his consultation room in such a way that conversations between him and his staff (where applicable) and/or between him and his patient, cannot be perceived by others.

The layout of the clinic’s various premises must ensure patients’ privacy.

5.2.2  The member of the Society must have a waiting room near his consultation room, to accommodate his patients.

5.2.3    The consultation room must be designed to ensure, at all times, the safety and hygiene appropriate to the type of professional practice of the Society member, including:

a) the premises must be adequately heated, lit, and ventilated;

b) a sink must be installed in or near the consultation room;

c) a toilet and sink must be accessible to patients.

5.2.4  The layout of the consultation room must be such that there is little clutter, and the member of the Society must provide for the room’s maintenance.

5.2.5  The member of the Society shall ensure, where applicable, that his employees comply with the professional standards of this By-Law.

5.2.6  The member of the Society must record daily the full names of the patients he sees in his office. This documentation must be kept for a period of five (5) years.
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5.3 RECORD KEEPING

5.3.1  The member of the Society must establish an osteopathic record for any individual who consults said member.

5.3.2    Files should contain a clear record of: 

a) the patient’s surname, first name, date of birth, address, and telephone number;

b) the date on which the file was commenced;

c) any diagnostic results gathered by a physician and/or by previous consultants;

d) a global evaluation of the patient, i.e. their birth, their personal, family, medical, surgical, traumatic, vaccinal, and allergic history;

e) a description of the treatments received and their date, in relation to the background listed in (d).

5.3.3 For each patient, the member of the Society must provide a history of the current health issue, and include:

a) an overall assessment of the patient, including an impression of their general condition;

b) an osteopathic evaluation of the patient;

c) any relevant (e.g., laboratory, X-ray) test results

d) the details of the treatment plan.

5.3.4   At each meeting with the patient, the member of the Society must record:

a) the date;

b) a reassessment of the health issue;

c) the osteopathic work performed;

d) any recommendations made to the patient; e) any future work envisaged.

5.3.5  The file may also contain annotations, correspondences and/or other documents relating to the services rendered, and legal authorisations, if applicable.

5.3.6  For any document removed from a file, the member of the Society must keep a photocopy of it, noting the date of and the reason for the removal.

5.4   ACCESSIBILITY OF RECORDS

5.4.1    Records must be kept in a room or cabinet to which the public does not have free access, or which can be locked.

5.4.2    Records must be kept for a minimum of five (5) years from the date of the last addition to the file.

Code Déontologie Société Canadienne pour la Tradition de l’Ostéopathie