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Eye Care Standards, Ethics & Research

Functional vision defines how a person performs in vision-related activities, more than how the eye functions (visual function). Functional vision is directly related to quality of life and is the basis for the ICO’s International Standards for Eye Care and Vision.

The ICO believes these principles should be emphasized in ophthalmic training, ophthalmic practice and in health care policy decisions:

  • Ophthalmic care extends beyond the treatment of eye disease to promoting the well being of the patient
  • Treatment decisions should consider patient needs and match the clinician’s expectations with those of the patient
  • Studies of ophthalmic outcomes should include appropriate tools to evaluate visual functioning
  • Ophthalmologists should follow a set of moral principles and standards to guide behavior within their professional domain.

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) adheres to a set of moral principles and standards to guide the behavior of ophthalmologists within their professional domain.

These standards have been published below in English, Russian, Spanish, and Turkish.

Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards

Download the Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards (PDF-200KB).

Each of the nine groups of standards includes a general principle from which the related values evolve. They reflect the ideals to which ophthlamologists should aspire as members of a specialist branch of the medical profession, and as socially responsible members of their respective professional societies. 

The standards taken together are intended to represent comprehensive guidelines to which practitioners might refer when confronted with professional or ethical dilemmas, and act as a benchmark by which to judge ophthalmologists’ behavior in professional matters.

Nine Groups of Ethical Standards:

  1. Patient Care Standards
  2. Professional Practice Standards
  3. Professional Community Standards
  4. Standards for Working with Other Health Care Professionals
  5. Research Standards
  6. Social Standards
  7. Commercial Standards
  8. Teaching and Mentorship Standards
  9. Standards Governing the Relationship to the Medical Industry

Russian: Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards

Translation of the Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards was made possible by  Dr. Anton Vurdaft and Dr. Sergey Branchevski.

Download Этические стандарты для офтальмологов: этические принципы и профессиональные стандарты (PDF-200KB).

Spanish: Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards

Translation of the Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards was made possible by Dr. Pamela Gonzalez and Dr. Gabriella Palis.

Download Lineamientos Éticos Para Oftalmólogos: Principios Éticos Y Estándares Profesionales (PDF-200KB)

Turkish: Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards

Translation of the Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards was made possible by Dr. Zeynep Kayaarasi Ozturker. They were reviewed by Dr Pinar Aydin and Dr. Kardican Keskinbora for accuracy.

Download Göz Hekimleri  için Meslek Etiği Rehberi: Etik İlkeler ve Mesleki İlkeler (PDF-400KB)

International Classification of Diseases-11 (ICD-11)

The International Classification of Diseases is the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global standard to report and categorize diseases, health-related conditions and external causes of disease and injury in order to compile useful health information related to deaths, illness and injury.

The ICO Task Force on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) is coordinating the Topic Advisory Group (TAG) for Ophthalmology—to formulate definitions and diagnostic criteria for the relevant categories, and to suggest changes to the classification structure.

This 11th revision to the ICD is a major one; it aims to serve not only the WHO's need for public health statistics, but also the terminology needs for Electronic Medical Records and other Health Information Technology applications.

The WHO has a special interest in defining the Global Burden of Disease as a means to compare the impact of various diseases and to set health policy priorities. For vision, this translates to the Burden of Vision Loss.

Eye Care Standards, Ethics & Research Resources

PDF

ICO Surgical Safety Checklist

This Checklist was by the ICO to support doctors in the quest to eliminate “Never Ever Events” in ophthalmic surgery. More »

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Access to Cataract Surgical Services–A Position and Policy Statement

Un-operated cataract remains the leading cause of avoidable blindness in poor and emerging countries. This Statement… More »


PDF

Causes vs. Consequences of Functional Loss

Identifying underlying causes is the goal of most medical tests. Identifying the possible consequences is important for… More »

PDF

Ethical Code For Ophthalmologists: Ethical Principles and Professional Standards

The International Council of Ophthalmology (ICO) adheres to a set of moral principles and standards to guide the behavior of… More »

PDF

Clinical Research: A Primer for Ophthalmologists

Prepared for the International Council of Ophthalmology by Alfred Sommer M.D. M.H.S. (For the ICO Research Committee),… More »


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