Pediatricians are trusted doctors who devote their life’s work to the care of children. They not only follow a code of professionalism set forth by the American Medical Association (AMA), also the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) sets a code of ethics specifically for physicians who specialize in children’s medicine.
The AAP defines professionalism within pediatrics as being very similar to that of other specialized medicine. However, pediatrics has special considerations that require attention due the fact that it's important to involve the child in their own care. However, this must be done with extra attention and sensitivity because the patient has not reached a level of full maturation and therefore may not be able to understand. Therefore their caregivers need to be informed of care as well. A pediatric physician also follows principles set forth by the American Board of Pediatrics.
Core of Beliefs
The American Academy Pediatrics describes the written code of ethics as “the core professional values that pediatricians and pediatric subspecialists should adopt and that will serve as an ethical foundation for quality health care for children and their families.”
The AAP sets forth guidelines for the teaching and evaluation of pediatric professionalism. Their guidelines refer to how to treat a patient with care and understanding. They set forth codes of conduct on how to be sympathetic and respectful when treating child patients. The guidelines also outline how to further improve upon their own education to be able to provide continuous quality care.
The Pediatric Code of Ethics also defines values and responsibilities that doctors need to incorporate in order to work within their own personal rights and also in combination with other medical practitioners and family members. These values emphasize the necessity for responsibilities to the practice of medicine, the community, the child’s family members and most importantly, responsibility to providing the best care that they can to the child.
Research and Information
Medical ethics require that doctors continually study and further their medical and scientific knowledge. They should always be providing information to their patients, family members and the community. Providing information about care is especially important in pediatrics because the child can be too young to understand. It needs to be presented to them and their family members in a manner that can be easily understood.