Translating guidelines into practice is required to maintain the balance between practitioner autonomy and accountability
Medical professionals assure us that they will only provide care that limits harm (non‐maleficence) and promotes the best outcomes (beneficence) for patients. The basis of this social contract is the expectation of integrity, morality, and altruism in their business practices, making doctors trustworthy sources of good health care. A doctor’s first duty is to their patient, a dictum as relevant today as it was for Hippocrates. In our complex society, it is more important than ever that doctors are trusted by their patients. In return, doctors enjoy autonomy of practice, status in society, and self‐regulation.
- 1. Ryan HY, Sun GY, Monuja M, et al. Adherence by orthopaedic surgeons to AHPRA and Australian Orthopaedic Association advertising guidelines. Med J Aust 2022; 217: 240‐245.
- 2. Hesse BW, Greenberg AJ, Rutten LJF. The role of Internet resources in clinical oncology: promises and challenges. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 2016; 13: 767‐776.
- 3. Schneller ES, Wilson NA. Professionalism in 21st century professional practice: autonomy and accountability in orthopaedic surgery. Clin Orthop Relat Res 2009; 467: 2561‐2569.
- 4. Jones JW, McCullough LB. Is medical advertising always unethical, or does it just seem to be? J Vasc Surg 2015; 61: 1635‐1636.
- 5. Davaris MT, Dowsey MM, Bunzli S, Choong PF. Arthroplasty information on the internet: quality or quantity? Bone Jt Open 2020; 1: 64‐73.
- 6. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. AHPRA and national boards annual report 2020/21. www.ahpra.gov.au/annualreport (viewed June 2022).
- 7. Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Guidelines for advertising a regulated health service. Reviewed 9 Feb 2021. https://www.ahpra.gov.au/Resources/Advertising‐hub/Advertising‐guidelines‐and‐other‐guidance/Advertising‐guidelines.aspx (viewed June 2022).
- 8. Holden A. Soon Australian doctors will be allowed to advertise with patient testimonials: but beware the hype. The Conversation (Australia) [online], 25 May 2022. https://theconversation.com/soon‐australian‐doctors‐will‐be‐allowed‐to‐advertise‐with‐patient‐testimonials‐but‐beware‐the‐hype‐183126 (viewed June 2022).
- 9. Fischer F, Lange K, Klose K, et al. Barriers and strategies in guideline implementation: a scoping review. Healthcare (Basel) 2016; 4: 36.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.