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RULE §130.55Practitioner Code of Ethics

(a) The health and safety of patients shall be the first consideration of the practitioner. The principal objective to the practitioner is to render service to humanity. A practitioner shall continually strive to improve his medical knowledge and skill for the benefit of his patients and colleagues. The practitioner shall administer to patients in a professional manner and to the best of his ability. Secrets and personal information entrusted to him shall be held inviolate unless disclosure is necessary to protect the welfare of the individual or the community. A practitioner shall be temperate in all things in recognition that his knowledge and skill are essential to public health, welfare, and human life.

(b) A practitioner shall conduct his practice on the highest plane of honesty, integrity, and fair dealing and shall not mislead his patients as to the gravity of such patient's podiatric medical needs. A practitioner shall not abandon a patient he has undertaken to treat. The practitioner may discontinue treatment after reasonable notice has been given to the patient by the practitioner of the practitioner's intention to discontinue treatment and the patient has had a reasonable time to secure the services of another practitioner or all podiatric medical services actually begun have been completed and there is no contract or agreement to provide further treatment.

(c) A practitioner shall not aid an unethical practitioner or engage in any subterfuge with any person, business, or organization. The practitioner shall expose any illegal, unethical, or dishonest conduct of other practitioners and cooperate with those invested with the responsibility of enforcement of the law and these rules of conduct.

(d) A person under a practitioner's care or treatment on whom podiatric medical surgery is to be performed in connection with such care or treatment should be informed by the practitioner of the identity of the surgeon before the surgery is performed.

(e) The practitioner has special knowledge which his patient does not have; therefore, to avoid misunderstanding he should advise his patient in advance of beginning treatment of the nature and extent of the treatment needed; the approximate time required to perform the recommended treatment and services; and any further or additional services or return by the patient for treatment, adjustments, or consultation and the time in which this shall occur. A practitioner should inform his patients as to the fees to be charged for services before the services are performed, regardless of whether the fees are charged on a case basis, on the basis of a separate charge for each service, or a combination of these two methods, or some other basis. If an exact fee for a particular service, as in extended care cases, cannot be quoted to a patient, a fair and reasonable estimate of what the fee will be and the basis on which it will be determined should be given the patient.

(f) A practitioner shall not tender or receive a commission for a referral.

Source Note: The provisions of this §130.55 adopted to be effective November 1, 2018, 43 TexReg 6953

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