Illume's statement of ethical conduct is intended to guide a dynamic process of interaction between our dentists and clients as well as the dental profession and the larger community. It reflects not only current thought on issues, but is also an ethical framework that is responsive to changing needs and values. While change is inevitable - certain truths will always remain for us to identify in our response to the human condition.
To emphasise, our dentists' primary responsibility is to the client. In fulfilling our responsibility, our dentists shall uphold the honour and the dignity of the profession and shall adhere to professional codes and obligations as well as the required applicable legislation.
Principles of this statement
Our dentist's foremost responsibility is to the client. Dentistry is a profession, in part, because the decisions of its members involve moral choices. Every dental practitioner makes decisions that involve choices between conflicting values while providing care for clients.
These values should be carefully considered by our dentists and decisions regarding them should be made prior to providing treatment. Among these are the particular values to which our dentists are especially committed. These are listed here in the order of priority beginning with the most important and include:
- Life and Health: The primary concern is the life and general health of the client.
- Appropriate and Pain Free Oral Function: The specific nature of dental health for each individual client depends on variables including the client's age, general health, underlying anatomy, and compliance with oral hygiene.
- Client Autonomy: The client has the right to choose, on the basis of adequate information, from alternate treatment plans that meet professional standards of care. The treatment plan chosen by the client may or may not be that which the dentist would prefer.
- Practice Preferences: Dentists vary in the range of services performed and the method of delivery of those services. A dentist's individual preference in the delivery of dental care plays an important role in treatment recommendations and decisions. This preference should be acknowledged by our clients.
- Aesthetic Values: Oral and facial appearance is important to the self image of the client and an important consideration of our dental practice.
- Professional Fees: Our dentists often offer treatment choices with a range of fees. Appropriate treatment alternatives will be presented each with its associated costs and benefits. Under certain circumstances, a lower ranked value may justifiably be chosen over the next higher. These circumstances will depend upon the clinical situation that may arise. Other external factors may be present but rarely be of such ethical significance as to outweigh the prioritised values, particularly the higher values.