Proposed Amendments to the AOA Constitution and Code of Ethics and New “Rules and Guidelines”. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2012;112(6):321–324. doi: https://doi.org/10.7556/jaoa.2012.112.6.321.
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Article VI—House of Delegates
The House of Delegates shall be the legislative body of the Association, shall exercise the delegated powers of the divisional societies in the affairs of this Association, and shall perform such other functions as are set forth in the Bylaws.
The House of Delegates shall consist of delegates elected by the divisional societies and other authorized units, the elected officers and trustees of the Association and of such other members as may be provided for in the Bylaws.
A. DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES AND UNIFORMED SERVICES SOCIETY.
FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-THREE DELEGATE POSITIONS SHALL BE ALLOCATED AMONG THE DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES FOR EACH OF THE STATES AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND THE AFFILIATED ORGANIZATION THAT REPRESENTS OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIANS SERVING IN THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AS FOLLOWS: EACH DIVISIONAL SOCIETY AND THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AFFILIATE SHALL BE entitled to one delegate and ONE ALTERNATE DELEGATE. one additional delegate for each 100 regular members of this Association located in the state represented by that divisional society, provided that if there are 75 or more unrepresented regular members of this Association in the area of that divisional society, it shall be entitled to one additional delegate and. THE REMAINING DELEGATE POSITIONS SHALL BE ALLOCATED AMONG DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES AND THE UNIFORMED SERVICES AFFILIATE BASED ON THE PROPORTION OF MEMBERS OF THIS ASSOCIATION WHO ARE LOCATED IN THE STATE REPRESENTED BY THAT DIVISIONAL SOCIETY OR, IN THE CASE OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES DIVISIONAL SOCIETY, THE PROPORTION OF MEMBERS OF THIS ASSOCIATION CURRENTLY SERVING ON ACTIVE DUTY IN THE UNIFORMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES. THE ALLOCATION OF ADDITIONAL DELEGATES SHALL BE RECALCULATED EACH YEAR.
B. STUDENT COUNCIL REPRESENTATION IN DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES. DIVISIONAL SOCIETIES SHALL BE AWARDED one additional delegate as a student council representative FOR of each college of osteopathic medicine accredited by this Association and located in the state represented by that divisional society, such student delegate to be elected according to the Bylaws of the American Osteopathic Association.
C. SPECIALTY AFFILIATES. EACH AOA RECOGNIZED SPECIALTY COLLEGE SHALL BE REPRESENTED BY ONE DELEGATE TO BE SELECTED AS PROVIDED IN THE BYLAWS OF THE AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATION.
Article VIII—Board of Trustees and Executive Committee
Section 2—Executive Committee
The Executive Committee of this Association shall consist of the President, President-elect, Immediate Past PresidentS FOR THE PRECEDING TWO YEARS, First Vice President, the chairs of the Departments of Affiliate Affairs, Business Affairs, Governmental Affairs, professional Affairs, and Research, Quality & Public Health and the chair and vice chair of the Department of Educational Affairs.
Section 3. A physician-patient relationship must be founded on mutual trust, cooperation, and respect. The patient, therefore, must have complete freedom to choose her/his physician. The physician must have complete freedom to choose patients whom she/he will serve. However, the physician should not refuse to accept patients FOR REASONS OF INVIDIOUS DISCRIMINATION, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, because of the patient's race, creed, color, sex, national origin, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, GENDER IDENTITY or handicap. In emergencies, a physician should make her/his services available.
Professionalism is a core competency expected of all physicians. Physicians are among the most highly educated and trained professionals in our society and should enjoy the respect of their peers and the community. Society expects them to perform various roles. As health care providers, they diagnose and treat patients; as advisors, they provide patients with an understanding of their health status and the potential consequences of decisions regarding treatment and lifestyles; as advocates, physicians communicate with patients, their caregivers, and their health insurers about the needs of the patient; and as counselors, they listen to their patients and discuss their condition with family members and others involved in health care decision making. Physicians are entrusted by their patients and their patients' families with private and confidential information, much of which is related to health care but frequently includes other personal details.
Osteopathic physicians, in order to enjoy the continued respect and trust of society, recognize the responsibilities and obligations they bear and in order to maintain their status as professionals, must act accordingly. Medical ethics includes many tenets that should guide osteopathic physicians in their professional and personal activities. Although ethics and professionalism encompass broad concepts, some of the recognized elements are:
The AOA's Code of Ethics offers rules to guide physicians in their interactions as physicians with their patients, with society, and with the AOA. This document is intended to supplement the Code of Ethics by providing rules and guidance for physicians' conduct as professionals in the broader context beyond the traditional role in the delivery of care. Some of the Rules and Guidelines are mandatory (i.e., “shall” or “shall not”), while others are permissive (i.e., “may,” “should,” “should not” or “may not”) and recognize a physician's discretion to assess the specific context and situation and exercise professional judgment.
Finally, the Rules and Guidelines are designed by the AOA to provide guidance to physicians in appropriate professional behavior and to provide a structure for regulating conduct. Any assessment of a physician's conduct must be made with due consideration to the facts and circumstances that existed at the time of the conduct in question and recognize that a physician may have had to act based upon uncertain or incomplete information. The Rules and Guidelines are not intended to be a basis for civil liability. Rather, perceived failure of a physician to comply with an obligation or prohibition imposed by the Code of Ethics or these Rules and Guidelines is a basis for invoking the AOA's disciplinary process through the Bureau of Membership's Subcommittee on Ethics.
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