For Surgeons


Code of Ethics


The mission statement of the Association of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons of Southern Africa is to support its members in their efforts to provide the best quality of patient care and to attain and maintain the highest professional and ethical standards.

Membership of APRASSA is granted by the voting membership of APRASSA to registered Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons who are competent practitioners of the art and science of plastic surgery.

Competence in plastic surgery involves the attainment and maintenance of high standards of both medical and ethical conduct. Medical competence is fostered by successful completion of the required examinations and training and pursuance of a programme of continuing professional development, ethical competence by adherence to the Code of Ethics of APRASSA. Members are expected to act in accordance with the principles of the Code of Ethics in all contacts with patients, their peers and the general public. Members are individually responsible and accountable for their actions and what they say both to their patients and to the public.

Members shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Peer Review Committee of the APRASSA. This action may include private censure, public censure, probation, temporary suspension or expulsion for violation of the principles of the Code of Ethics.


As a doctor, I believe in the sanctity of life and in the promotion of optimal quality of life for all.

  1. I will therefore strive to use my knowledge and skills to promote and protect the health of my fellow human beings.
  2. To place medical care above consideration of race, gender, sexual orientation, creed, social standing, political allegiance or nature of disease.
  3. To foster a good relationship with my patients based on mutual respect, communication and trust.
  4. To respect the right of my patients to full information about their condition in order to take informed decisions regarding acceptance or refusal of proposed treatment.
  5. To respect the confidentiality of information entrusted to me.
  6. To recognise my limitations and to consult with, or refer to, my colleagues when necessary.
  7. To maintain and improve my professional skills.
  8. To respect and protect the rights of my colleagues.
  9. To sustain and promote integrity, insight and a caring nature within the medical profession and to promote health for all by sharing the responsibility for the health and health education of the community.

All members should follow a programme of continuing professional development.

Members have an affirmative duty to disclose new medical advances to patients and to colleagues and to the latter without renumeration. Members should practice according to principles of wound healing founded on a scientific basis and should not voluntarily associate professionally with anyone who violates these principles.

The medical profession should safeguard the public and itself against physicians deficient in moral character or professional competence. Members should observe all laws, uphold the dignity and honor of the profession and accept its self-imposed disciplines. They should expose, without hesitation, illegal or unethical conduct of fellow members of the profession.

A Member should receive professional income in the practice of medicine only for medical services actually rendered or supervised by the physician where the physician is personally and identifiably responsible. No member shall receive payment nor receive a commission for referral of patients.

To assist the public in obtaining medical services physicians are permitted to make known their services through advertising. South African Medical Association and Health Professions Council ethical rules regarding advertising should be strictly adhered to and will form the basis for any judgement regarding advertising. Patients should not be solicited by advertisement

30 December 2002