UW Medicine’s goal of excellence and its dedication to promote high standards of practice in patient care, teaching, and research rest upon each individual and a collective, enterprise-wide commitment to ethics. Many organizations, associations, agencies and laws express standards that apply to specific professionals who work at UW Medicine. For example, the Washington State Ethics in Public Service Act (“Ethics Act”) applies to all UW Medicine workforce members who are UW (state) employees and obligates them to uphold public trust by avoiding any conflicts of interest (financial or otherwise, direct or indirect) in the performance of their job duties. Furthermore, there is a matrix of UW and UW Medicine policies which uphold the Ethics Act, as well as set professional standards for the UW Medicine workforce – such as the UW Medicine Code of Conduct, which applies to all UW Medicine workforce members.
Additionally, many healthcare professional associations have adopted codes of ethics which establish frameworks for professional behavior and responsibilities. Similarly, these professions are governed by federal and state laws.
UW Medicine is committed to on-going review processes to help ensure its multiple ethics policies and procedures are well-understood and effective, so that ethical principles are integrated into our institution’s culture and encourage ethical conduct and, thereby, an avoidance of conflicts of interest.