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Code of Ethics


The purpose of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) is to promote excellence in patient care by advancing biomedical application of lasers and other related technologies world wide. A primary goal of the Society is to promote the highest ethical and professional standards in the practice of laser medicine and surgery.

The Society serves its purpose and pursues this goal by promoting an active exchange of information, encouraging research in both clinical and non-clinical fields and monitoring the use of lasers in the health professions. The Society is an amalgamation of engineers, scientists, technologists, representatives of industry, physicians and other health care professionals. In order to promote patient welfare, the Society establishes this Code of Ethics as a standard of conduct to which each member is expected to adhere.

Membership in the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery implies that both physician as well as non-physician members maintain the highest ethical standards and adhere to these tenets, standards, and principles, the ultimate goal of which is to benefit patient safety and care. Failure to uphold these tenets may subject the member to dismissal from the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery.

General Tenets

  1. The principal objective of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) is to benefit patients whose disorders might be appropriately treated through the use of the laser and other related technology. The members of this Society, including physicians, scientists, engineers, technologists, other health practitioners, members of the laser industry and others (collectively, “members”) shall work to promote the use of lasers in the health sciences and patient care.
  2. Members of the Society should work to merit the full confidence and trust of patients, rendering to the patients either individually or as a group a full measure of service and devotion.
  3. Laser science and technology should be well-founded on a scientific basis. Every member should work to encourage thoughtful deliberation and honest practices in laser medicine and surgery.
  4. The membership of the Society should safeguard the public and itself against persons deficient in moral character and professional competence. Adherence to law as well as promoting the dignity and honor of the Society is the necessary service expected of every member.
  5. A member shall, within the limits of the law, in the provision of appropriate patient care, except in emergencies, be free to choose whom to serve, with whom to associate, and the environment in which to provide medical services. Although a member may choose whom he or she would serve as a patient, employer, etc., this should not interfere with the ultimate goal of benefiting the laser patient. The goal of profit by members of laser industry as well as monetary gain by laser medicine practitioners shall not interfere with the ultimate care of the patient.
  6. Although nothing in this Code of Ethics shall be construed to limit competition or regulate fees for service or goods, each member should be constrained to provide his/her goods and services at a fair price, with the charitable understanding that on occasion, those who need these services most can least afford them.
  7. A member shall continue to study, apply and advance laser science and technology, make relevant information available to patients, colleagues, and the public, and, when appropriate refer patients to the expertise of other health professionals. Members should seek consultation with their peers with regard to difficult problems and further promote dissemination of laser science and technology by investigation, reporting at meetings and in the literature, be it written or electronic. Such reports shall be truthful and as comprehensive as possible without failing to note both the beneficial as well as adverse effects of any practice.
  8. Membership in the Society shall not be construed to interfere with or supervene membership in other professional societies. Every member is expected likewise to participate on many levels and in many capacities adhering to the doctrines of those specialty societies.
  9. Marketing is any form of communication designed to inform the general public about the availability, nature, or process of products or services to attract patients. Marketing in a truthful, tasteful manner designed to best serve the interest of the patients and avoid self aggrandizement is therefore permitted. False, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading advertisement works to the detriment of the laser patient and the Society at large and will not be tolerated. All ASLMS members are permitted to reference their ASLMS membership in their communications and marketing materials. Members must adhere to all trademark standards when using the ASLMS logo. Inclusion of ASLMS membership should never be used in a way which suggests ASLMS endorsement of the individual’s competence or clinical practices.
  10. All members must abide by the ASLMS Policy on Mechanism to Identify and Resolve Conflict of Interest.
  11. All members who designate themselves as board certified will list their board certification consistent with the Administrative Regulations and will not designate board of laser surgery as their board certification.
  12. ASLMS is committed to establishing environments free from sexual harassment. It is a violation of the ASLMS Code of Ethics and a violation of Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 for any member male or female to sexually harass another person. All ASLMS members are expected to respect others and to act responsibly, irrespective of the nature and location of their interaction. All ASLMS members have an obligation to maintain a positive and productive environment. Any suspected situation involving sexual harassment should be reported to the Central Office for investigation and appropriate action.
  13. ASLMS is committed to creating and maintaining a non-discriminatory environment. The Society will not tolerate discriminatory practices which are based upon race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or sexual orientation in any aspect of its operations, including, but not limited to, provision of services, membership in the Society or on its board or committees, and attendance at or participation in the Society’s programs, meetings, and events. All ASLMS members are expected to implement non-discriminatory policies and support non-discriminatory behavior within their practice. All ASLMS members are responsible for assuring that ASLMS activities are conducted consistent with ASLMS policy of non- discrimination.

Member Standards

  1. Each member is expected to act in accordance with the Code of Ethics of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) in contacts with patients, peers and the general public.
    1. All physicians must follow the Principles of Ethics of the American Medical Association.
    2. All engineers, scientists and technologists must follow the Principles of Ethics for Engineers, Scientists and Technologists as adopted by the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) and made part of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) Code of Ethics as described in Attachment 1.
    3. All nurses and allied health professionals must follow the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses as adopted by the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) and made part of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS) Code of Ethics as described in Attachment 2.
  2. Each member is individually responsible and accountable for his/her own actions and words, as well as the use of his/her name.
  3. A member may be subject to disciplinary action including expulsion for unprofessional conduct as described in the sections of this Standard.
    1. The member's right to practice or work is suspended or terminated in any state, province, or country for violation of a medical practice act or other statute or governmental regulation.
    2. The member exhibits repeated medical or ethical incompetence.
    3. The member is involved in improper financial dealings, including but not limited to:
      1. Fee splitting. A member shall not divide a fee for medical service with another person licensed to practice medicine who is not a partner or associate of his or hers unless:
        1. The patient consents, in writing, to employment of the other person licensed to practice medicine under a full disclosure that a division of fees will be made;
        2. A division is made in proportion to the services actually performed and responsibility assigned to each;
        3. The total fee charged by all persons licensed to practice medicine is not increased solely by reason of provision for the division of fees.
      2. Payment or acceptance of rebates or referral fees.
      3. Exorbitant fees. A member shall not enter into an agreement for, charge or collect an illegal or unconscionable fee. A fee is unconscionable when it is so exorbitant that it is wholly disproportionate to the services performed as to shock the conscience of physicians of ordinary prudence practicing in the same community. Reasonableness shall be determined on the basis of circumstances existing at the time the agreement is entered into except where the party contemplates that the fee will be affected by later events. Among the factors to be considered, where appropriate, in determining the reasonableness of the fee, are the following:
        1. The uniqueness and difficulty of the procedures involved, and the skill requisite to perform the medical services properly;
        2. The time and labor required;
        3. The informed consent of the patient to the fee agreement. The purpose of this provision is to encourage reasonable price competition within the confines of the standard of care expected of the Society's members.
    4. The member, on behalf of himself/herself, his/her partner, or associate or any other member affiliated with the member or the member's organization, uses or participates in any form of public communication containing a false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement or claim. Without limitation, a false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading statement or claim includes the following information:
      1. Contains testimonial pertaining to the quality and efficacy of medical care if the experience of the endorser does not represent the typical experience of other patients, or if due to the infrequency and/or complexity of such care, results in other cases cannot be predicted with any degree of accuracy;
      2. Is intended or is likely to create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results;
      3. Contains a representation or statement of opinion as to the superior quality of professional services not susceptible to verification by the public or contains a statement representing that the member possesses skills or provides services superior to those of other physicians with similar training unless such representation can be factually substantiated;
      4. Appeals primarily to a layperson's fears, anxieties, or similar emotions;
      5. Contains a prediction of future success or guarantees that satisfaction or a cure will result from performance of the member's services;
      6. Contains a misrepresentation of fact, or omits to state any material fact, which would include failing to contain reasonable warnings or disclosures, necessary to prevent the statement, representation or implication from being considered deceptive or misleading;
    5. The member performs unjustified service or services that are not calculated to improve or benefit the patients ultimately.
    6. The member engages in conduct proscribed by the Tenets of this Code.
    7. The member practices or advertises under a trade name which is false, fraudulent, deceptive or misleading.
  4. Marketing
    To communicate to the general public the goals and ideals of members of the Society, a member may advertise services through communications media, such as professional announcements, telephone and medical directories, broadcast or electronic media, subject to the requirements mentioned above. Members may reference their membership in the ASLMS on their communications and in their marketing materials. When this reference is made, the statement to be included is “A Member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery” or “A Member of the ASLMS”. When a member utilizes the ASLMS logo for marketing and advertising purposes they shall always utilize it in a professional manner consistent with the professional principles of the organization. The ASLMS logo may be printed in black and white or the original colors. The logo design must not be altered. The logo must include the trademark registration notice symbol ®. Members must include the statement “A Member of the American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery” or “A Member of the ASLMS” wherever the logo is used. All professional advertising activities by ASLMS members should be both ethical and in accordance with acceptable professional guidelines which does not falsely misrepresent the professional integrity of the organization. Use of the ASLMS logo for advertising purposes is limited to active members and should be in accordance with professional standards. No misrepresentation of its content should be expressed.
  5. Solicitation. In-person communication or advice designed to attract laypeople as patients or patrons.
    1. A member shall not initiate contact with a prospective patient for the specific purpose of soliciting their business if the member should know that the physical, emotional, or mental state or degree of education of the person solicited is such that the person could not exercise reasonable judgment in employing a member of this Society.
    2. A member who has given unsolicited in-person advice to a layperson, stating that the person should have medical or health care shall not accept the patient relationship resulting from that advice if:
      1. The advice embodies or implies a statement or claim that is false, fraudulent, deceptive, or misleading within the meaning of Member Standard 3.04 of this Code.
      2. The advice involves the use by the member of undue influence, coercion, duress, harassment, intimidation, unwarranted promises of benefits, over-persuasion, over-reaching, or pressure for immediate response;
      3. Any non-patient has given the member notice that the person does not want to receive communication from that member.
  6. Enforcement. Any member charged with a violation of any standards set forth herein shall be subject to disciplinary measures recommended by the Ethics and Conflict of Interest Committee and authorized by the Board of Directors of the Society. These measures may include but are not limited to censure, suspension or expulsion or prosecution from this Society.

Principles of Ethics for Engineers, Scientists and Technologists

  1. Individuals shall maintain high standards of diligence, creativity and productivity and shall:
    1. Accept responsibility for their actions;
    2. Be honest and realistic in stating claims or estimates from available data;
    3. Agree to undertake technological tasks and accept responsibility only if qualified by training or experience, or after full disclosures to their employers or clients of pertinent qualifications;
    4. Maintain their professional skills at the level of the state of the art and recognize the importance of current events in their work;
    5. Advance the integrity and prestige of the profession by practicing in a "professional manner" and for adequate compensation.
  2. Individuals shall, in their work:
    1. Treat fairly all colleagues and co-workers, regardless of race, religion, sex, age or national origin;
    2. Report, publish and disseminate freely information to others, subject to legal and proprietary restraints;
    3. Encourage colleagues and co-workers to act in accord with this Code and support them when they do so;
    4. Seek, accept and offer honest criticism of work, and properly credit the contributions of others;
    5. Support and participate in their professional societies;
    6. Assist colleagues and co-workers in their professional development.
  3. Individuals shall, in their relations with employers and clients:
    1. Faithfully serve their employers or clients in professional and business matters, provided such actions conform with other parts of this Code;
    2. Keep information on the business affairs or technical processes of an employer or client in confidence while employed, and later, until such information is properly released, within the limits of law and this Code;
    3. Inform their employers, clients, professional societies or public agencies or private agencies of which they are members or to which they may make presentations, of any circumstances that could lead to a conflict of interest in their service to or dealings with the employer, client, professional society or agency.
    4. Neither give nor accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, payment or service of more than nominal value to or from those having business relationships with their employers or clients;
    5. Assist and advise their employers or clients in anticipating the possible consequences, direct and indirect, immediate or remote, of the projects, work or plans of which they have knowledge.
  4. Individuals shall, in fulfilling their responsibilities to the community:
    1. Seek to protect the safety, health and welfare of the public and speak out against abuses in those areas affecting the public interest;
    2. Contribute professional advice, as appropriate, to civic, charitable or other nonprofit organizations;
    3. Seek to extend public knowledge and appreciation of the profession and its achievements.
  5. Individuals shall, in fulfilling their responsibilities to American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery (ASLMS), its members and employees:
    1. Make no statement that the member knows to be false or with reckless disregard as to its truth or falsity concerning ASLMS or the qualifications, integrity, professional reputation, or employment of another member or employee;
    2. Neither injure nor attempt to injure, maliciously or falsely, the professional reputation or employment of another member or employee.

American Nurses Association Code of Ethics

  1. The nurse provides services with respect for human dignity and the uniqueness of the client unrestricted by considerations of social or economic status, personal attributes, or the nature of health problems.
  2. The nurse safeguards the client's right to privacy by judiciously protecting information of a confidential nature.
  3. The nurse acts to safeguard the client and the public when health care and safety are affected by incompetent, unethical, or illegal practice of any person.
  4. The nurse assumes responsibility and accountability for individual nursing judgments and actions.
  5. The nurse maintains competence in nursing.
  6. The nurse exercises informed judgment and uses individual competence and qualifications as criteria in seeking consultation, accepting responsibilities, and delegating nursing activities to others.
  7. The nurse participates in activities that contribute to the ongoing development of the profession's body of knowledge.
  8. The nurse participates in the profession's efforts to implement and improve standards of nursing.
  9. The nurse participates in the profession's efforts to establish and maintain conditions of employment conducive to high quality nursing care.
  10. The nurse participates in the profession's effort to protect the public from misinformation and misrepresentation and to maintain the integrity of nursing.
  11. The nurse collaborates with members of the health professions and other citizens in promoting community and national efforts to meet the health needs of the public.

Approved by Board of Directors on January 25, 2007

The American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery is the world’s largest scientific organization dedicated to promoting research, education and high standards of clinical care in the field of medical laser applications. It provides a forum for the exchange of scientific information and participation in communicating the latest developments in laser medicine and surgery to clinicians, research investigators, government and regulatory agencies, and the public.

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