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Code of Ethics

for Midwives Practicing in Newfoundland and Labrador

  1. Midwives respect their relationship with women and their families, maintain confidentiality of information obtained, and only share pertinent information with the woman's permission or as legally required.

  2. Midwives support and advocate for their professional Association. Midwives should not engage in any activity that would adversely affect the honour, dignity, or credibility of the profession.

  3. Midwives, as members of a health care profession, act in a manner that enhances the reputation of, and inspires public awareness and confidence in, the profession.

  4. Midwives continue their education, both formally and informally, to keep their practice current, and take examinations as required to demonstrate that their skills are at a safe level.

  5. Midwives' primary responsibility is the well-being of women and their babies. Midwives use research-based knowledge to provide appropriate care.

  6. Midwives respect the rights of women to make informed choices, including choice of caregiver and place of birth by providing them with complete, current and objective information, communicating their scope and limitations of practice, and making referrals when required. Although the decision regarding the place of birth should ideally be made on evidence based safety indicators and current research findings, no woman in labour should be denied care wherever the birth is occurring.

  7. Midwives do not discriminate on the basis of language, culture, age, socioeconomic status, gender orientation, religious persuasion, or location, when providing professional care.

  8. Midwives always act to optimize health for the woman and her baby when providing information, advice and care from preconception, through pregnancy, labour, birth, and the postpartum/neonatal periods.

  9. Midwives promote, protect and support breastfeeding by providing research-based information in order that women can make an informed choice about infant feeding. Midwives respect the World Health Organization (WHO) Code of Breastfeeding and utilize effective strategies for initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. Midwives support the woman's informed decision regarding her choice of method of infant feeding.

  10. Midwives recognize and accept that loss may be a part of pregnancy and birth, and in doing so support the woman and her family in dealing with any loss according to their individual needs, and make appropriate referrals when required.

  11. Midwives recognize that in situations where there are objections or conflicts of interest between women and themselves they will assist the woman in finding another care provider (midwife or physician).

  12. Midwives may not refuse to attend a woman during labour, nor cease providing care during labour unless there are appropriately regulated health professionals present to provide the necessary care.

  13. Midwives show respect to other professional or lay caregivers chosen by a woman to support her during pregnancy, labour, birth and the postpartum period.

  14. Midwives care for themselves and do not practise when their judgement is impaired by physical or psycho-social factors.

  15. Midwives share their midwifery knowledge by being preceptors, mentors and educators to students and by participating in peer review and research related activities.

  16. Midwives provide vital statistics data required by law, and other appropriate agencies. Midwives will store and provide data in accordance with the Personal Health Information Act (2008) and the Health Professions Act (2010).

  17. Midwives cooperate with government and voluntary agencies to determine women's needs for health services and to promote equal access to health care resources for childbearing women.

  18. Midwives refuse to accept any gift, favour or hospitality which might be interpreted as a professional endorsement of a commercial product. Likewise, the midwife should not provide preferential treatment or consideration to the client on the basis of financial or other rewards.

  19. Midwives ensure that their professional status is not used to promote commercial products or services, declare any financial or other interests in relevant organisations providing such goods or services, and ensure that their professional judgement is not influenced by commercial considerations.

  20. Midwives will adhere to professional standards when promoting the availability of their services.

  21. Midwives will avoid any actual or suggestion of abuse of mothers and babies - physical, psychological, sexual - and will report to the appropriate authorities any evidence of such.

  22. Midwives will practise midwifery in accordance with Midwives Regulations and Policies of the Newfoundland and Labrador Council of Health Professionals and the College of Midwives (as required by the Health Professions Act (2010).

(December 2000 revised September 2010)