Ethics and Conduct - Montana Optometry Association


It Shall be the Ideal, the Resolve, and the Duty of the Members of The American Optometric Association:

TO KEEP  the visual welfare of the patient uppermost at all times
TO PROMOTE  in every possible way, in collaboration with this Association, better care of the visual needs of mankind
TO ENHANCE  continuously their educational and technical proficiency to the end that their patients shall receive the benefits of all acknowledged improvements in visual care
TO SEE THAT  no person shall lack for visual care, regardless of this financial status
TO ADVISE  the patient whenever consultation with an optometric colleague or reference for other professional care seems advisable
TO HOLD  in professional confidence all information concerning a patient and to use such data only for the benefit of the patient
TO CONDUCT  themselves as exemplary citizens
TO MAINTAIN  their offices and their practices in keeping with professional standards
TO PROMOTE  and maintain cordial and unselfish relationships with members of their own profession and of other professions for the exchange of information to the advantage of mankind

Courtesy of the American Optometric Association            



I.  Basic Responsibilities of an Optometrist

            Section A.  The Welfare of Humanity

A health profession has as its prime objective the service it can render to humanity; monetary considerations should be a subordinate factor.  In choosing the profession of optometry an individual assumes an obligation for personal conduct in accordance with professional ideals.

            Section B.  Continuing Competence

An optometrist should strive to keep current with every modern development in the profession, to enhance both knowledge and proficiency by the adoption of modern methods and scientific concepts of proven worth and to contribute personally to the general knowledge and advancement of the profession.  All these things should be done with that freedom of action and thought that provides first for the welfare of the public.

II.  Relationships With the Patient

            Section A.  Presence of a Pathological Condition

An optometrist should give to the patient or the patient’s family a timely notice of manifestations of disease or abnormality.

            Section B.  Emergency Optometric Care

A request for optometric care in an emergency should receive immediate response.  Once having undertaken an emergency case, an optometrist shall neither abandon nor neglect the patient.

            Section C.  Professional Fees

Professional fees charged the patient for examination, diagnosis and treatment shall be determined by the individual optometrist.

            Section D.  Charges for Materials

Charges for materials should be clearly separated from professional fees.


III.  Responsibilities to the Public

            Section A.  Informing the Public

An optometrist should honor the applicable provisions of valid State and Federal laws and rules regulating the advertising of ophthalmic materials and the disseminating of information regarding professional services.

            Section B.  Patent

It is unprofessional for an optometrist to exploit a patent for lenses, appliances, or instruments used in the practice of optometry in such a way as to deprive the public of its benefits, either through refusal to grant licenses to competent manufacturers who can assure adequate production and unimpeachable quality, or through exorbitant demands in the form of royalty; or for similar forms of monopolistic control in which the interests of the public are exploited.

            Section C.  Rebates

It is unprofessional and unethical to accept rebates on prescriptions, lenses or optical appliances used in the practice of optometry.


IV.  Relationships With Other Optometrists

            Section A.  Intraprofessional Referral and Consultations

Intraprofessional referral and consultations are encouraged when the best interest of the patient indicates additional opinion.  Protocol on the relationship and responsibilities between the referring and attending optometrist that customarily is followed by health professions shall prevail.

            Section B. 

Professional responsibility demands that the optometrist actively participate in public health activities with other health professionals to the end that every step be taken to safeguard the health and welfare of the public.

            Courtesy of the American Optometric Association