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.pdf iconGuidelines for Ethical Behaviour (Print Version) [ethics_guidelines.pdf - PDF - 85.5 KB]

These guidelines serve to complement and reinforce existing policies, rules, guidelines and protocols set by the University and the faculty of dentistry. They evolved out of an active interchange between students and staff and represent the reality of a University setting.


The aim of these ethical guidelines is to promote excellence, respect and professionalism amongst academic and non-academic staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students, in our dealings with each other and with those to whom we provide services. These ethical guidelines should be considered in the context of the Faculty Mission Statement.







As members of the Faculty of Dentistry, including academic and non-academic staff and undergraduate and postgraduate students, we commit to academic excellence by agreeing:


As members of the Faculty of Dentistry, we commit to providing optimum care to our patients while adhering to established dental jurisprudence by agreeing to the following core values:


As members of the Faculty of Dentistry, we commit to respectful behavior and attitudes by agreeing:



To accept mutual responsibilities in fostering a positive educational environment;



To maintain patient confidentiality by limiting the discussion of patient-related issued to appropriate settings and personnel.



To recognize responsibilities and acceptable behaviors, both individually and as a group;



To advance knowledge within an atmosphere conducive to academic excellence, creative research, excellent clinical care, and community and continuing education programs;



To communicate truthfully with patients and their families, colleagues, faculty members and the community;

To disclose errors and treatment complications to patients when they occur.



To act equitably in relationships with patients, academic and non-academic staff and students;



To encourage learners to strive to improve their skills and knowledge by consulting appropriate resources and recognizing the limitations of those resources;



To strive to provide current standards of care using recent and accepted principles of evidence-based health care;

To ensure that patients receive the highest level of care possible by recognizing the limitations of personal abilities and striving to improve personal competence;

To consult with appropriate individuals when the expertise needed exceeds the level of personal expertise and to be accountable for treatment provided; To strive to behave altruistically in putting the benefits of those we serve above those of our own.



To respect the personal boundaries of others particularly with regard to sexual, physical and/or verbal interactions;



To act as role models by embodying the skills and attitudes necessary to becoming a competent, socially sensitive ethical health care professional;


 Informed Consent

To ensure that the patient (and their guardian when appropriate) has adequate knowledge and understanding of treatment options before accepting informed consent, and before commencement of the proposed treatment.



To be sensitive to cultural diversity and act without discrimination based on age, gender, medical condition, appearance, physical or mental disability, religion, sexual orientation or socioeconomic status;



To adhere to clinical guidelines relating to infection control, clinic attire, treatment procedures, and behavior as explained in the McCall Clinic Procedure Manual;


 Patient Autonomy

To engage the patient or their guardian in planning treatment and to respect their treatment choice



To avoid the use of alcohol or drugs that may interfere with academic, professional, or clinical responsibilities;



To promote a commitment to lifelong learning;


Equality of Care

To refuse any monetary gifts with the exception of minor tokens of appreciation;

To provide oral health care to individuals without bias to age, gender, medical condition, appearance, physical or mental disability, religion, sexual orientation, cultural background, or socioeconomic status.



To resolve any professional misconduct, unskilled practice and other inappropriate behavior by seeking recourse as described in Section III.



To conduct research adhering to existing ethical guidelines and protocols and by giving credit to those involved in the work.


Community Service

To interact with individuals and community organizations with a view to improving oral health and oral health care.






Assess the facts (carefully differentiating “fact” from “hearsay” as far as possible);

Clarify the ethical problem;

Determine who are the stakeholders;

Identify the possible options and alternatives;

Balance conflicting principles and obligations by considering the ethical principles of beneficence (promotion of well-being), non-maleficence (avoidance of harm), autonomy (regard for self-determination), and justice (observance of law and fairness);

Consider the professional judgments of colleagues;

Rank the alternatives and select the best one.

Recognize what the ethical dilemma is;

React and acknowledge your immediate emotional response to the situation;

Reflect on all the components and values involved in the ethical dilemma;

Rationalize all the data and relate the values to existing Codes of Ethics and practical professional wisdom;

Rank the possible options for resolving the dilemma;

Respond to the situation with your preferred choice of action;

Re-evaluate your response after a period of time to assess your comfort with your decision.


Individual Level


Faculty Level


University Level


One-on-one discussion with the individual(s) involved in the ethical problem.


If discussion at the individual level is not possible or desirable, alternative recourses at a faculty level are:


If discussion at the faculty level is not possible or desirable, alternatives at a university level are:



Ethics tutorials

Clinic Director

Course Directors

Associate Dean, Academic Affairs

Faculty Advisor





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