Professional Ethics

Code of Ethics and Guidance Document for the Respiratory Care Practitioner

The Code of Ethics for the Respiratory Care Practitioner (Code of Ethics) delineates the ethical obligations of all Respiratory Care Practitioners as adopted by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC) in the AARC Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct and established the basic principles determined by the North Carolina Respiratory Care Board (NCRCB) to guide professional behavior in the healthcare setting. On October 12, 2017, the Board readopted the  AARC Statement of Ethics and Professional Conduct as the foundational principles of conduct and approved a guidance document regarding these principles: Code of Ethics Guidance Document for the Respiratory Care Practitioner. 

In the conduct of professional activities, the Respiratory Therapist shall be bound by the following ethical and professional principles. Respiratory Therapists shall:

  1. Demonstrate behavior that reflects integrity, supports objectivity and fosters trust in the profession and its professionals.
  2. Seek educational opportunities to improve and maintain their professional competence and document their participation accurately.
  3. Perform only those procedures or functions in which they are individually competent and which are within their scope of accepted and responsible practice.
  4. Respect and protect the legal and personal rights of patients, including the right to privacy, informed consent, and refusal of treatment.
  5. Divulge no protected information regarding any patient or family unless disclosure is required for the responsible performance of duty authorized by the patient and/or family, or required by law.
  6. Provide care without discrimination on any basis, with respect for the rights and dignity of all individuals.
  7. Promote disease prevention and wellness.
  8. Refuse to participate in illegal or unethical acts.
  9. Refuse to conceal, and will report, the illegal, unethical, fraudulent, or incompetent acts of others.
  10. Follow sound scientific procedures and ethical principles in research.
  11. Comply with state or federal laws which govern and relate to their practice.
  12. Avoid any form of conduct that is fraudulent or creates a conflict of interest, and shall follow the principles of ethical business behavior.
  13. Promote health care delivery through improvement of the access, efficacy, and cost of patient care
  14. Encourage and promote appropriate stewardship of resources.

Readopted on this 12th Day of October 2017.