Law and Ethics for the Eye Care Professional

Law and Ethics for the Eye Care Professional

By Barbara K. Pierscionek, BSc(Optom), PhD, MBA, Postgrad Dip(Law)(LLB equiv), Postgrad Dip(Legal Practice), LLM, Professor of Optometry and Vision Science, Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Ulster, Coleraine


Introduction to ethics: what they are and what they are not; history of ethics in healthcare. The concept of professionalism: what it means to be a professional, obligations and expectations, development of professionals in health and eyecare. The professional Code of Ethics/Healthcare Ethics and ethical concepts. Beneficence and non-maleficence in eye care practice; requirements to keep abreast of new developments. Negligence (law): what constitutes negligence. Autonomy: respect for patients decisions/ duty to inform patients. Confidentiality/ Data Protection (legal). Equality and Justice; distributive healthcare. Collegiality; fair work practice; dealing with peers, colleagues, other professionals, non-professional employees. Business ethics: the ethics of running a practice, the ethics of competition; accountability. Ethical dilemmas. Ethical theory: deeper concepts: consequentialism, deontology, Kantian theory.