Duties: To the Patient

Managing Conflicts of Interest

A physician must always act in the patient’s best interests.

A physician’s interests should not be in conflict with the patient’s. Any conflicts of interest must be properly managed so as not to compromise the patient’s best interests, or be avoided.

Physicians should guard against compromising their duty to their patients by pursuing personal advantage, whether financial or otherwise, at the expense of the patient. Physicians, like any other member of society, are entitled to earn an income and be paid appropriately for their services to patients. However, in all situations where a conflict of interest arises in the course of professional duties and activities, physicians should recognize the conflict, ensure that the patient’s best interests remain paramount and, where appropriate, disclose the conflict of interest to the patient.

Physicians should also be aware of the possibility of damage to the reputation of the profession by the appearance of a conflict, even though an actual conflict may not exist, and avoid creating such a perception.

Relevant Policies, Publications and Resources

ONTARIO REGULATION 114/94: General (See Conflicts of Interest)  under the Medicine Act 1991

Advertising Regulation under the Medicine Act

Block Fees and Uninsured Services

Conflict of Interest: Recruitment of Subjects for Research Studies

Disclosure of Harm

Prescribing Drugs

Treating Self and Family Members

Providing Physician Services During Job Actions