Ethics resources

Policy documents

Guidelines for ethical relationships between health professionals and industry

Access the easy to navigate, online version of the RACP Guidelines for ethical relationships between health professionals and industry.

These voluntary guidelines support members in navigating the complex and varied ethical challenges that may arise from interactions with industry. This resource covers interests, dualities of interest and conflicts of interest and issues affecting:

  • health practitioners
  • trainees and students
  • institutions and professional societies
  • research

A set of FAQs to address ethical issues physicians commonly encounter in their relationships with industry covers the following topics:

  • meeting with drug representatives
  • speaking at a pharmaceutical company sponsored event
  • funding from a pharmaceutical company to attend a conference
  • pharmaceutical sponsorship for clinical meeting or grand round
  • funding from a pharmaceutical company to conduct or participate in research
  • invitation to be a member of a pharmaceutical company advisory board
Position Statement on Clinical Ethics

The RACP Position Statement on Clinical Ethics (PDF) is the first of its kind to be developed by a medical college and calls for clinical ethics support services to be embedded within the health care systems of Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand.

It highlights that ethics is fundamental to clinical practice, advocates for education and research in clinical ethics, and calls for the development of clinical ethics services to better support practitioners in the contemporary health context.

Members are encouraged to use the position statement to support the development of their own clinical ethics capacity and to gain support for the establishment of rigorous clinical ethics support services in their workplaces.

Ethical guidelines for Occupational and Environmental Physicians

The Australasian Faculty of Occupational and Environmental Medicine’s (AFOEM) has developed Ethical Guidelines for Occupational and Environmental Physicians (PDF) specifically for OEM physicians. These guidelines cover the differences in practice that distinguish OEM from other fields of medical practice.

The guidelines aren't meant to be prescriptive or proscriptive, but offer a shared view of ethically what's acceptable and what's not in the profession and practice.

Online learning resources

RACP Online Learning (member login required)
Pomegranate Health podcast

Trainee education

Ethics is embedded in the Basic and Advanced Physician Training Programs through the Professional Practice Framework and Professional Qualities Curriculum (PDF).

In the Basic Training Program, trainees are required to undertake the Professional Skills — Ethics online course through RACP Online Learning Resources (member login required).

In the Advanced Training Program, program requirements are set by the Training Committees for all 35 programs. In the current curricula, Advanced Trainees are required to complete reflective exercises demonstrating competency in the Professional Qualities Curriculum.

Beyond the curricula, trainees at all levels are encouraged to develop their clinical ethics capacity.

Professional Development

Ethical reflection and analysis are an integral part of clinical practice and requires clinicians to have a strong foundation in ethical principles, reflection and reasoning.

Curated Collections — Ethics | RACP Online Learning Resources (member login required)
Access peer-reviewed CPD resources on ethics.

Professional Skills — Ethics | RACP Online Learning Resources (member login required)
Broaden your understanding of ethics through this resource as you learn about, discuss and reflect on the main ethical issues facing physicians.

Clinical Ethics Services

Healthcare delivery is becoming increasingly complex. On occasions, clinicians and healthcare organisations need access to appropriate guidance and support to help navigate these challenges. Increasingly, this support is being provided by various models of clinical ethics support locally and overseas.

Setting up a service

NHMRC Consensus Statement on Clinical Ethics

NHMRC Clinical Ethics Capacity Building Resource Manual

Australian support services

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District — Clinical Ethics Service

Sydney Children's Hospital Network Clinical Ethics Service

Plunkett Centre for Ethics, St Vincent's Hospital

The Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne — Clinical Ethics Service

ACT Health — Clinical Ethics Committee

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