After nearly three years of analysis and debate involving professionals and entities representing the category, it entered into force in May o new Code of Medical Ethics of the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM).
The updated version of the document, which guides the practice of medicine in the country, was released during a press conference in Brasilia and brings a series of important news.
Below are the central points of the new Code of Medical Ethics, with additions and interpretations of Dr. Josué Stelko, legal advisor to the IBCMED Faculty.
1. Respect for doctors with special needs or chronic diseases
One of the major changes to the new Code of Medical Ethics concerns the rights and duties of physicians with special needs or chronic diseases.
The document assures the right of these professionals to act within their limitations, as long as they do not endanger the welfare or life of their patients.
Article 37 of this code, in particular §1, opened the possibility of Telemedicine, to be regulated by CFM later. An attempt occurred shortly after the release of the new Code of Medical Ethics, with Resolution 2.227 / 2018. However, the CFM decided to revoke to broaden the debate and better establish its bases of conduct. Thus, good practices performed to date, in accordance with the general principles of the Code, remain until the new Resolution has informed the criteria to be met.
3. Compulsory delivery of high summary
Another new feature brought by the new Code of Medical Ethics concerns the obligation to prepare and disclose to the patient the discharge summary, whenever requested.
The measure facilitates both the proper monitoring of the patient's medical history by other doctors in charge of their diagnosis and treatment and the exchange of information between these professionals.
4. Referral of medical records direct to the judge
The new Code of Medical Ethics also allows the physician to send copies of medical records, prepared by him, directly to the judge responsible for the claim. In the previous version, this document could only be sent to the medical expert of the case.
The art. 89 makes it clear that it is forbidden to release copies of the medical record under its custody, except to comply with the court order or for your own defense in court for legal liability issues (civil, criminal and / or administrative-ethical). The exception also applies to releasing copies of the medical record when authorized in writing by the patient, who may establish release conditions.
5. Maintenance of the basics
In addition to the news, the new Code of Medical Ethics has kept important points in its text, such as the patient's right to autonomy with regard to their medical treatment and respect for the dignity of those who are terminally ill.
Other traditional positions of the Code are also maintained, such as the confidentiality of the doctor / patient relationship and the prohibition of conflicts of interest in research, teaching and the exercise of the profession.
There is no innovation in this subject, but at different times like today, conserving what is good should be welcomed.
Respect for the patient, their safety and the relationship established in relationship doctor-patient remains positive in the new code.
The new Code of Ethics manages to maintain the consolidated footsteps of the previous version, looking to the future as the perception of those who in their daily lives maintain their millennial and almost priestly life-saving functions, but understanding that technology and needs are changing.
6. Offer to report to CRM from public or private institutions
The new Code of Medical Ethics also underscores the importance for medical professionals to report to the CRM if they become aware of inadequate conditions for practicing the profession or undignified or unfair remuneration in public or private institutions.
7. Refusal of care in poor conditions
Likewise, the document also offers the doctor the possibility of refusing to practice medicine in places with unhealthy or precarious conditions, which can pose risks to both the patient and the professional.
8. From teaching and medical research
Another important change occurs within the ethics provided for medical teaching and research.
Paragraph 2 of art. 101 addresses the important innovation of the current Code. As long as authorized by the CEP / CONEP system, scientific research may access previous medical records in retrospective studies, even without the patient's prior authorization, provided that the new guidelines of the new General Data Protection Law are respected. That is, preserving the identity of the individual regarding their personal data, one can use a database of medical records to make scientifically relevant data, thus obeying the pre-established rules and duly fulfilled by the researcher.
Another change is found in art. 106, substantially maintaining the previous Code's understanding of the use of placebo in scientific research. However, the change is in the prohibition of using placebo alone in medical research, when there is an effective prophylactic or therapeutic method. It is good to note that the new code is in dialogue with Bioethics to prevent scientific abuses to the detriment of people having access to treatment.
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