Several ethical issues exist within the diagnostic medical laboratory. The major ethical challenges such as; consent, confidentiality, codes of conduct, conflict of interest, lab utilisation, proficiency, and direct access testing are some times more prevalent in resource-limited settings. Presently, decisions regarding diagnosis and patient’s treatment are commonly taken on the basis of outcomes and interpretations of laboratory test results. Therefore, ethics plays a significant role in laboratory medicine. Apart from the lab results, laboratory staff is another important aspect of the laboratory. Hence, it is highly recommended that knowledge of ethics helps to protect confidence; operational integrity, capability, impartiality, and safety of the staff. Many countries and their professional societies have developed policies and guidance material with regard to ethical issues in the area of laboratory medicine. The organizations specially; International of federation of clinical chemistry (IFCC), American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO) have defined ethical recommendations for clinical laboratories. They are, in general, outlined the responsibilities of laboratory professionals towards their profession, the patient, and the society. However, implication of ethical standards and guidelines are vary between different cultures, geographies, and according to available resources. In this chapter, we have mentioned the ethical consideration of IFCC, AACC and ISO 15189:2012 with regard to laboratory medicine and also addressed the various ethical issues that arises day to day in laboratory medicine in the current scenario.
Part of the book: Bioethics in Medicine and Society