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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 103-106

Bioethics in laboratory medicine

Department of Biochemistry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ashish Anjankar
Department of Biochemistry, Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_216_19

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The medical laboratory professionals are answerable to the ethical codes of their profession. Patient's welfare is paramount in health-care ethics. This principle applies to laboratory medicine as well. The laboratory should treat all patients fairly and without discrimination. Ethics in laboratory medicine commences from the collection of information for proper recognition of patients and specimens. Ethical principles continue during specimen collection, performance of tests, and reporting of the results. Consent can be implied for most laboratory procedures when the patient produces him or herself at a laboratory with a request form and readily agrees to the routine collecting procedures. The laboratory shall always use test procedures, which meet the applicable standards. The results of laboratory examinations are confidential unless disclosure is authorized. The results will normally be reported to the requesting physician and may be reported to other parties with the patient's consent or as required by law. Ethical guidelines should also be followed during storage and retention of medical records. Test results must never be altered or corrected, except by properly authorized persons in accordance with established procedures. Facilities shall provide a suitable environment to prevent damage, deterioration, loss, or unauthorized access. Patients, profession and colleagues, and society are the three main groups toward which medical laboratories owe their responsibility. Ethics in laboratory medicine have to be practically followed as a moral responsibility of all the laboratory staff, rather than being recorded in an operating manual. This requires the medical laboratory professionals to realize their duties and have a conscientious attitude toward their work.

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