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Of the 1200 audiologists I surveyed, 50% were not knowledgeable of the code of ethics guidance available from their national associations.Ethical Questions Do we serve the patient or do we serve the profession?It is not uncommon in a state's audiology licensure laws, to see codes of ethics referenced in terms of conflicts of interest, charging patients for services not rendered, or not divulging to patients any payment that you are getting from a vendor.

First, I want to start with a reality check so you can see what I will be discussing today and understand how important this information is to the way you conduct your day-to-day practice.

Codes of ethics were written by our national association to guide the way we practice audiology.

Those of you who are ASHA members, you can look in the ASHA Leader at the rear of the document for the list of everyone who has been found to have violated the code of ethics.

Sometimes they receive suspension of their certification and other times their membership and certification are revoked.

If you do not want your patients to know, it may mean that there could be a perception of conflict of interest, and then you have been in violation of codes of ethics.

Both AAA and ASHA codes of ethics discuss conflicts of interest as well as patients perceiving that you are getting something for rendering services they are receiving.You need to be aware of the ramifications to the decisions you make.Some aspects of the code of ethics can protect you from violating legal structures, laws, rules and regulations.You should always think to yourself, "Am I comfortable divulging this to my patient?" If so, this may tell you it is a more ethical practice.As mentioned, ASHA could actually revoke or suspend your certification.

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