World Skull Base Foundation has established a Code of Ethics and Statement of Principles for its Fellows and Members to adhere to. These guidelines are not laws, but rather ethical standards to promote honorable behavior within the foundation. It is expected that all members will uphold these principles to maintain good standing within the organization. The ethical principles established by the World Skull Base Foundation aim to provide clarity and definition in areas where confusion may arise in the practice of modern Skull Base Surgery. As an organization that is focused on providing healthcare and improving the quality of life of people, it is important for the members to adhere to ethical principles in all aspects of its operations.
1. Respect for autonomy: Patients have the right to make their own decisions about their medical care. Members should provide them with all the information they need to make informed decisions, and respect those decisions even if they do not agree with them. The patient must be treated with competence, respect, dignity and honesty.
2. Beneficence: Members have a duty to act in the best interests of their patients and to do no harm. This means providing the highest quality care possible, while minimizing risks and maximizing benefits.
3. Primum Non Nocere: Members should strive to do no harm to their patients. This means avoiding unnecessary risks, providing accurate information, and taking steps to prevent harm.
4. Justice: Members should ensure that their services are distributed fairly and equitably, regardless of a patient's background, socioeconomic status, or other factors.
5. Confidentiality: Patients have the right to expect that their medical information will be kept confidential. Members should take steps to protect patient privacy and ensure that sensitive information is only shared with those who have a legitimate need to know.
6. Integrity: Members should act with honesty and integrity at all times. This means being transparent about potential conflicts of interest, avoiding any actions that could compromise patient care, and always putting patients' interests first. The best interest of the patient must be the foremost concern of the members in all circumstances.
Members are expected to comply with these principles and assist fellow members in doing so. Members should also maintain their own proficiency and competence through continuing study and be diligent in patient’s care. Fees charged for services must be reasonable and commensurate with the services rendered, and any impaired professional must withdraw from practicing in that area until the impairment is resolved.
THE PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP
World Skull Base Foundation emphasizes that each patient must be treated with respect, dignity, compassion, and honesty. Members must ensure that patients have the right to participate in the treatment process, and discrimination against a patient based on factors such as race, color, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, religion, or national origin is unacceptable.
The confidentiality of patient information is to be maintained within the bounds of the law, with the obligation to protect the welfare of the individual and the community. Professionals must establish and maintain appropriate relational boundaries, avoiding the exploitation of patient vulnerability and sexual misconduct with patients.
Members are required to disclose actual or potential conflicts of interest to patients to maintain transparency in their interactions.
World Skull Base Foundation highlights the importance of professional conduct among its members. Members are expected to interact with their colleagues based on mutual respect and a shared goal of improving patient care. It is important for members to recognize their own professional limitations and expertise, and to seek consultation or referral whenever necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient.
World Skull Base Foundation prioritizes patient welfare over any commercial interests of its members. Members are expected to avoid any actions that create a conflict of interest between their personal financial interests and the best interests of the patient. If a conflict of interest arises, it should be resolved to the benefit of the patient, and the member should not put their own interests ahead of the patient's interests and welfare.
World Skull Base Foundation recognizes the importance of conducting clinical research according to ethical, moral, medical, and legal guidelines. Members must ensure that all research is conducted with respect for the dignity and sanctity of human life. The ultimate goal of research should be the betterment of mankind, the alleviation of suffering, and the improvement of medical practice.
Research that knowingly endangers the health, safety, or longevity of human subjects is considered unethical. Members must ensure that any research involving human subjects is conducted with the utmost care. The welfare and safety of research subjects must always be the top priority.
The Foundation recognizes the importance of obtaining appropriate ethical approvals for research projects, particularly those involving human subjects. Members must ensure that all human subjects are fully informed of the risks and benefits of any research being conducted and must obtain informed consent prior to enrolling patients in any study. Animal studies should precede the use of new and experimental techniques in humans whenever possible.
Members must also ensure that all research protocols are designed with the utmost care and attention to the safety and welfare of research subjects. Patients have the right to privacy, and their personal information must be protected at all times.
Credit must be given to all investigators who contribute to a project. Co-authorship should not be assigned to individuals who do not participate in the project. Furthermore, research protocols should not be designed in a manner that knowingly provides less benefit than the currently accepted standard of care.