C-26, r. 97 - Code of ethics of dietitians

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Full text
chapter C-26, r. 97
Code of ethics of dietitians
DIETITIANS — PROFESSIONAL CODE — CODE OF ETHICS
Professional Code
(chapter C-26, s. 87)
C-26
September 1 2012
DIVISION I
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS THE PUBLIC
1. A dietitian shall take the necessary measures to ensure the quality and availability of the professional services that he offers to the public. To that end, he shall
(1)  ensure that his knowledge is kept up to date;
(2)  apply new knowledge related to the field in which he practises; and
(3)  promote education and information measures in the field in which he practises.
O.C. 48-94, s. 1.
2. In the practice of his profession, a dietitian shall take into account the overall impact that his research, work and actions may have on public health.
O.C. 48-94, s. 2.
DIVISION II
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS CLIENTS
§ 1.  — General provisions
3. In the practice of his profession, a dietitian shall take into account his knowledge and abilities, their limitations and the means at his disposal.
O.C. 48-94, s. 3.
4. A dietitian shall at all times acknowledge a client’s right to consult a colleague, a member of another professional order or any other qualified person.
O.C. 48-94, s. 4.
5. A dietitian shall refrain from practising in a state or in conditions liable to compromise the quality of his services.
O.C. 48-94, s. 5.
6. A dietitian shall endeavour to establish a relationship of mutual trust between the client and himself.
O.C. 48-94, s. 6.
7. A dietitian shall not interfere in the personal affairs of a client in matters not related to the practice of his profession.
O.C. 48-94, s. 7.
§ 2.  — Integrity
8. A dietitian shall perform his professional duties with integrity.
O.C. 48-94, s. 8.
9. Where a client’s interests so require, a dietitian shall consult a colleague, a member of another professional order or any other qualified person, or shall refer the client to one of those persons.
O.C. 48-94, s. 9.
10. A dietitian shall
(1)  provide the client with a complete and objective explanation of the nature and scope of the problem which, in the dietitian’s opinion, emerges from all the facts that have been brought to his attention;
(2)  provide the client with the explanations necessary for him to understand and evaluate the dietitian’s services; and
(3)  inform the client of the scope of the services he requires and of the applicable terms and conditions.
O.C. 48-94, s. 10.
11. A dietitian shall refrain from expressing opinions and from giving advice unless he has full knowledge of the facts.
O.C. 48-94, s. 11.
12. A dietitian shall promptly correct any error he has made in rendering a service.
O.C. 48-94, s. 12.
13. In the practice of his profession, a dietitian shall not perform unwarranted professional acts or unnecessarily increase the number of his professional acts; he shall refrain from performing acts that are inappropriate or disproportionate to the needs of the client.
O.C. 48-94, s. 13.
14. A dietitian shall ensure that the acts he performs conform to professional standards and to current knowledge of dietetics.
O.C. 48-94, s. 14.
§ 3.  — Availability and diligence
15. In the practice of his profession, a dietitian shall display reasonable availability and diligence.
O.C. 48-94, s. 15.
16. A dietitian may not refuse to act or cease to act on behalf of a client unless he has just and reasonable grounds for doing so, in particular where
(1)  the client has lost confidence in the dietitian;
(2)  the dietitian is in a situation of conflict of interest or a situation in which his professional independence could be questioned; or
(3)  the client attempts to induce the dietitian to commit illegal, unfair or fraudulent acts.
O.C. 48-94, s. 16.
17. Before ceasing to perform his duties on behalf of a client, a dietitian shall send the client a notice of withdrawal and shall ensure that such withdrawal is not prejudicial to the client.
O.C. 48-94, s. 17.
§ 4.  — Liability
18. In the practice of his profession, a dietitian shall fully commit his personal civil liability. He is thus prohibited from inserting in a contract for professional services a clause that directly or indirectly excludes all or part of that liability.
O.C. 48-94, s. 18.
§ 5.  — Independence and impartiality
19. In the performance of professional duties, a dietitian shall subordinate his personal interests to those of his client and shall avoid any situation in which his judgment or his loyalty to the client could be affected.
O.C. 48-94, s. 19.
20. A dietitian shall safeguard his professional independence and shall ignore any intervention by a third party that could influence the performance of his professional duties to the detriment of the client.
O.C. 48-94, s. 20.
21. A dietitian shall not provide services in a situation of conflict of interest.
Where a dietitian ascertains that he is in a situation of conflict of interest, he shall inform his client and shall take the necessary steps to end the conflict of interest.
O.C. 48-94, s. 21.
22. A dietitian shall not pay, offer to pay or undertake to pay any benefit, rebate or commission in connection with the practice of his profession.
O.C. 48-94, s. 22.
23. For a given service, a dietitian may accept fees only from one source, except where all the interested parties have reached an explicit agreement. The dietitian shall accept payment of his fees only from the client or from the client’s representative.
O.C. 48-94, s. 23.
§ 6.  — Professional secrecy
24. A dietitian shall respect the secrecy of all confidential information obtained in the practice of his profession.
O.C. 48-94, s. 24.
25. A dietitian may be released from professional secrecy only with the client’s authorization or when so ordered by law.
O.C. 48-94, s. 25.
26. Unless so ordered by law, a dietitian shall not disclose the fact that a person requested his services where such disclosure is liable to be prejudicial to the person.
O.C. 48-94, s. 26.
27. A dietitian shall avoid indiscreet conversations about a client or the services rendered to a client.
O.C. 48-94, s. 27.
28. A dietitian shall not make use of confidential information to the detriment of a client or with a view to obtaining, directly or indirectly, a benefit for himself or for another person.
O.C. 48-94, s. 28.
29. A dietitian shall take reasonable steps to ensure that his employees and the staff around him maintain professional secrecy.
O.C. 48-94, s. 29.
§ 6.1.  — Lifting of professional secrecy to protect individuals
29.1. In addition to the cases provided for in section 25, a dietitian may communicate information that is protected by professional secrecy to prevent an act of violence, including a suicide, where the dietitian has reasonable cause to believe that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury to a person or an identifiable group of persons.
However, the dietitian may only communicate the information to a person exposed to the danger, to that person’s representative or to the persons who can come to that person’s aid.
The dietitian may only communicate such information as is necessary to achieve the purposes for which the information is communicated, including the name of the person in danger and the name of the person who made the threat, and their contact information, as well as the nature of the threat.
If it is necessary in the best interests of the person or persons exposed to the danger, the dietitian shall consult another member of the order, a member of another professional order, or any other qualified person, provided the consultation will not prejudicially delay the communication of the information.
O.C. 943-2003, s. 1.
29.2. A dietitian who, pursuant to section 29.1, communicates information protected by professional secrecy to prevent an act of violence must
(1)  communicate the information immediately;
(2)  if the information is communicated orally, confirm the information in writing to the person to whom the information is given;
(3)  enter the following particulars in the client’s record as soon as possible:
(a)  the reasons supporting the decision to communicate the information, including the name of the person who caused the dietitian to communicate the information and the name of the person or group of persons exposed to a danger; and
(b)  the content of the communication, the mode of communication, and the name of the person to whom the information was given; and
(4)  as soon as possible, send the syndic a notice regarding the communication that includes the reasons supporting the decision to communicate the information and the date and time it was communicated.
O.C. 943-2003, s. 1.
§ 7.  — Accessibility and correction to records
O.C. 48-94, sd. 7; O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
30. A dietitian who has a record in respect of which a client has made a request for access or correction pursuant to his rights under sections 60.5 and 60.6 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26) shall reply to the request without delay and not later than 20 days following the date of the request.
O.C. 48-94, s. 30; O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
30.1. For the purposes of the first paragraph of section 60.5 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26), a client shall have access, free of charge, to the documents contained in any record a dietitian has established in his respect. Notwithstanding the foregoing, fees not exceeding the cost of transcribing, reproducing or forwarding the documents may be charged to the client. A dietitian charging such fees shall, before reproducing, transcribing or forwarding the documents, inform the client of the approximate amount payable.
O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
30.2. A dietitian who refuses the request for access or correction shall notify the client of the refusal in writing, stating the grounds therefor and informing the client of his recourse.
O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
30.3. For the purposes of section 60.6 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26), a dietitian who agrees to the correction shall issue to the client, free of charge, a copy of the document so that the client may see the corrected or deleted information or, as the case may be, an attestation that the client’s comments have been filed in the record.
The client may require the dietitian to send, without charge, a copy of any corrected information, or an attestation that outdated or irrelevant information has been deleted, to the person from whom the dietitian received the information or to any other person to whom the information was communicated.
O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
30.4. A dietitian who holds information referred to in a request for access or correction shall, if he denies the request, keep the information for as long as necessary to allow the client to exhaust his recourses under the law.
O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
30.5. A dietitian shall promptly return, upon request by a client, any document entrusted to him by the client.
O.C. 450-99, s. 2.
§ 8.  — Determination and payment of fees
31. A dietitian shall charge fair and reasonable fees, proportionate to the services rendered. In particular, he shall take the following factors into account when determining his fees:
(1)  the time required to perform the professional services;
(2)  the complexity and scope of the service; and
(3)  the need to perform unusual services or services requiring exceptional competence or speed.
O.C. 48-94, s. 31.
32. Before performing a service, a dietitian shall inform the client of the approximate cost of the service and of the terms and conditions of payment. He shall provide the client with all the explanations necessary to understand his statement of fees.
O.C. 48-94, s. 32.
33. A dietitian shall not demand full advance payment for his services.
O.C. 48-94, s. 33.
34. A dietitian shall not collect interest on an outstanding account without first duly notifying the client. He shall charge a reasonable rate of interest.
O.C. 48-94, s. 34.
§ 9.  — Conditions, obligations and prohibitions in respect of advertising
35. A dietitian shall not engage in or allow the use of, by any means whatsoever, advertising that is false, misleading, incomplete or liable to mislead the public.
O.C. 48-94, s. 35.
36. A dietitian shall not claim to possess specific qualities or skills, particularly in respect of his level of competence or the range or effectiveness of his services, unless he can substantiate such claim on request.
O.C. 48-94, s. 36.
37. A dietitian who announces fees in an advertisement shall
(1)  keep the fees in force for the period of time indicated in the advertisement, with that period lasting not less than 90 days following the last broadcasting or publication of the advertisement; and
(2)  specify which services are covered by the fees.
Those particulars shall be given in a manner that can be understood by persons having no particular knowledge of dietetics.
O.C. 48-94, s. 37.
38. A dietitian shall not engage in or allow the use of, by any means whatsoever, advertising that targets persons who may be physically or emotionally vulnerable because of age or the occurrence of a specific event.
O.C. 48-94, s. 38.
39. In his advertising, a dietitian shall not use or allow the use of an endorsement or of a statement of gratitude concerning him.
O.C. 48-94, s. 39.
40. In any statement or advertisement, a dietitian shall include his name and professional title.
O.C. 48-94, s. 40.
41. The Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec is represented by a graphic symbol identical to the original held by the secretary of the Order.
A dietitian who reproduces the Order’s graphic symbol for advertising purposes shall ensure that it is identical to the original held by the secretary of the Order.
A dietitian who uses the Order’s graphic symbol in a statement or advertisement, except for business cards showing that he is a member of the Order, must include a warning to the effect that the statement or advertisement, as the case may be, does not emanate from and is not binding upon the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec.
O.C. 48-94, s. 41; O.C. 450-99, s. 3.
42. A dietitian shall keep a complete copy of every advertisement for a period of 1 year following the date on which it last appears. The copy shall be submitted to the syndic on request.
O.C. 48-94, s. 42.
DIVISION III
DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS TOWARDS THE PROFESSION
§ 1.  — Derogatory acts
43. A dietitian shall not perform the following acts, which, in addition to the acts mentioned in sections 57 and 58 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26), are derogatory to the dignity of the profession:
(1)  procuring unjustified or illegal benefits for a client, or having such benefits procured, particularly by providing false information in a declaration, report or other document concerning a client;
(2)  in his capacity as a dietitian, allowing his name to be associated with a trademark or approving such trademark in such manner as to mislead the public or create a false impression;
(3)  selling any product or acting as an agent for the sale, promotion or representation of any product in such manner as to mislead the public or create a false impression;
(4)  omitting a major item in the evaluation of a client’s needs or unduly exaggerating a client’s needs;
(5)  appointing as a dietitian an employee or associate who is not a member of the Order, or allowing such appointment;
(6)  communicating with the complainant, where the dietitian is informed of an inquiry into his conduct or professional competence, or where a complaint has been served on him;
(7)  selling any product or acting as an agent for the sale, promotion or representation of any product that is falsely represented as being an integral part of a diet treatment;
(8)  soliciting any benefit, rebate or commission not included in the fees negotiated with the client for a given service; and
(9)  unduly procuring, offering to procure or promising to procure any benefit, rebate or commission.
O.C. 48-94, s. 43; O.C. 450-99, s. 4.
§ 2.  — Relations with the Order and colleagues
44. Where the Order requests that a dietitian sit on a council of arbitration of accounts, a disciplinary council or a professional inspection committee, the dietitian shall accept that duty, unless he has exceptional reasons for refusing.
O.C. 48-94, s. 44.
45. A dietitian shall reply promptly to all correspondence sent by the syndic, by investigators or by members of the Order’s professional inspection committee.
O.C. 48-94, s. 45.
46. A dietitian shall be fair and honest with respect to his colleagues and profession; he shall not abuse a colleague’s good faith or commit a breach of trust or use unfair practices in respect of a colleague. In particular, a dietitian shall not take credit for work performed by a colleague.
O.C. 48-94, s. 46.
47. At his place of work, a dietitian shall cooperate with colleagues, with members of other professional orders and with all other qualified persons.
O.C. 48-94, s. 47.
48. Where a dietitian is called on to collaborate with a colleague, he shall maintain his professional independence. If he is assigned a task contrary to his conscience or principles, he may ask to be relieved of the task.
O.C. 48-94, s. 48.
49. A dietitian shall inform the Order where he has reason to believe that a person is contravening paragraph c of section 36 of the Professional Code (chapter C-26).
O.C. 48-94, s. 49.
§ 3.  — Contribution to the advancement of the profession
50. A dietitian shall, as far as he is able, contribute to the development of his profession by sharing his knowledge and experience with his colleagues and students, and by taking part in courses and training sessions.
O.C. 48-94, s. 50.
DIVISION IV
FINAL PROVISIONS
51. This Code replaces the Code of ethics of dieticians (R.R.Q., 1981, c. C-26, r. 65) and the Regulation respecting advertising by dieticians (O.C. 1491-86, 86-10-01).
O.C. 48-94, s. 51.
52. (Omitted).
O.C. 48-94, s. 52.
REFERENCES
O.C. 48-94, 1994 G.O. 2, 668
O.C. 450-99, 1999 G.O. 2, 1104
O.C. 943-2003, 2003 G.O. 2, 2915
S.Q. 2008, c. 11, s. 212