June 01, 2008


 Principles of ethics direct veterinarians to disclose conflicts of interest

Posted May 15, 2008

The AVMA Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics now state that veterinarians should disclose potential conflicts of interest to clients.

The Executive Board approved the addition of the disclosure provision on the recommendation of the Judicial Council.

The Council on Veterinary Service first suggested the change. The principles of ethics already included a section covering influences on judgment, but the section previously did not address contracts or agreements by individual veterinarians.

In the background to the recommendation, the Judicial Council noted that veterinarians enter into many commercial relationships and ventures that can provide benefits in patient care and convenience to clients. A potential conflict of interest arises when veterinarians use facilities, products, or services from which they derive income. Veterinarians should disclose the potential conflict of interest to clients in such situations.