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Code of Ethics for Health Sciences Librarianship

Goals and Principles for Ethical Conduct

The health sciences librarian believes that knowledge is the sine qua non of informed decisions in health care, education, and research, and the health sciences librarian serves society, clients, and the institution by working to ensure that informed decisions can be made. The principles of this code are expressed in broad statements to guide ethical decision making. These statements provide a framework; they cannot and do not dictate conduct to cover particular situations.

Society

  • The health sciences librarian promotes access to health information for all and creates and maintains conditions of freedom of inquiry, thought, and expression that facilitate informed health care decisions.

Clients

  • The health sciences librarian works without prejudice to meet the client’s information needs.
  • The health sciences librarian respects the privacy of clients and protects the confidentiality of the client relationship.
  • The health sciences librarian ensures that the best available information is provided to the client.

Institution

  • The health sciences librarian provides leadership and expertise in the design, development, and ethical management of knowledge-based information systems that meet the information needs and obligations of the institution.

Profession

  • The health sciences librarian advances and upholds the philosophy and ideals of the profession.
  • The health sciences librarian advocates and advances the knowledge and standards of the profession.
  • The health sciences librarian conducts all professional relationships with courtesy and respect.
  • The health sciences librarian maintains high standards of professional integrity.

Self

  • The health sciences librarian assumes personal responsibility for developing and maintaining professional excellence.
  • The health sciences librarian shall be alert to and adhere to his or her institution’s code of ethics and its conflict of interest, disclosure, and gift policies.

Additional Information

MLA's Code of Ethics provides goals and principles of ethical conduct to assist health sciences librarians with ethical decisions in their institutions.