Ethics guidelines for the profession

The Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine’s (formerly AACC) Board of Directors has endorsed 15 principles of ethical conduct covering standards of professional conduct and development, healthcare practice, and research for the laboratory medicine profession. These guiding statements reflect the Association’s commitment to improving health and healthcare.


Members of the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM) endorse the following principles of ethical conduct in their profession, including clinical procedures, research and development, teaching, management, mentorship, administration, and other forms of professional service:

Principles of Ethical Conduct for the Profession

I will:

  1. Place the welfare of the patient in highest regard to ensure each patient receives the highest quality of care and right to privacy.
  2. Not discriminate in the delivery of professional services on the basis of ethnic or national origin, race, religion, citizenship, language, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical or mental ability, physical appearance, age, or socioeconomic status.
  3. Conduct oneself at all times in a manner that enhances the status of the profession: uphold standards of professionalism, be honest in all professional endeavors, and maintain a high level of personal integrity.
  4. Not engage in any activity that will bring discredit to the profession or science, nor in any illegal or unethical conduct including, but not limited to, fraud, fabrication, plagiarism, concealment, inappropriate omission of information, and making false or deceptive statements.
  5. Report any healthcare professional who engages in fraud or deception or whose deficiency in character or competence jeopardizes patient care or other personnel.
  6. Maintain a high level of quality in the product(s) of my professional endeavors, including validity and reliability of test results, interpretive opinions, publications, and scientific research.
  7. Respect the privacy and confidentiality of protected health information encountered during the course of my professional activities in accordance with legal, ethical, and regulatory obligations and requirements.
  8. Continuously strive to augment my professional qualifications, knowledge, and skills, and present them accurately.
  9. Promote the safety and welfare of patients, employees, co-workers, colleagues, the public, and the environment.
  10. Mentor young investigators and early career professionals in their professional development.
  11. Avoid, or promptly disclose, and work to resolve actual or potential conflicts of interest.
  12. Encourage open and honest discussion among physicians, other healthcare providers, and/or facility managers regarding disclosure to patients of information about medical errors, if such information is material to any patient's well-being.
  13. Comply with relevant laws and regulations pertaining to the practice of laboratory medicine and science and actively seek to change them when they are contrary to the best interests of the patient.
  14. Avoid personal aggressions toward professional colleagues or other healthcare professionals.
  15. Maintain the standards and dignity of the profession in all media involvement.

Adopted by the AACC Board of Directors
June 15-17, 1990
Reaffirmed with editorial changes July 19, 2003
Reaffirmed with editorial changes November 9, 2007
Reaffirmed with editorial changes September 11, 2020