CODE OF PRACTICE
Code of practice of veterinary homeopathy for veterinary fellows, members or associates of the faculty of homeopathy
This code of practice is published to aid Veterinary Fellows, Members or Associates of the Faculty of Homeopathy, in their practice of veterinary homeopathy. It is not in any way to act as a substitute for any provisions of the Guide to Professional Conduct, published by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, rather to amplify particular points with especial relevance to the ethical delivery of veterinary homeopathy.
This paper may be used to guide any deliberations of the Faculty’s Disciplinary Committee, should that body ever be called upon to report to the Faculty Council or to the RCVS on any issue relating to veterinary homeopathy and its clinical practice.
Since members of the BAHVS have all been given the opportunity to make input to this document or to raise objections, it is assumed that all members will adhere to its provisions.
Adherence to this code is likely to ensure that the good name and honour of veterinary homeopathy and those of the Faculty of Homeopathy and the BAHVS are upheld.
- Veterinary Fellows, Members and Associates shall be guided by the Guide to Professional Conduct, published by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, in their practice of veterinary homeopathy. Use of homeopathy does not alter professional obligations to client and patient.
- It is expected that veterinary surgeons will operate within the bounds of competence relevant to their level of qualification.
- Veterinary surgeons should meet their clients and patients prior either to embarking on a course of treatment or to giving specific advice.
- A full and proper examination and history-taking/anamnesis should be performed and good clinical notes should be kept.
- A full clear and accurate record of all dealings with a client and patient should be maintained.
- Communications with the client should be clear and unequivocal.
- It is useful, in the case of those clients new to homeopathy, to ensure that they take on a basic understanding of the principles of veterinary homeopathy and how this differs from conventional therapy.
- In the case of a distant client, or a client coming with a patient already attended by another veterinarian, professional communication with the attending veterinary surgeon should be established. This is in order both to learn the medical history of the case with any laboratory or diagnostic findings and to ensure that the attending veterinary surgeon is aware of the veterinary homeopathic involvement, should an emergency later arise. A proper referral is the correct way to achieve this. It is important to remember that it is difficult to care properly for an ill animal at a distance, so local veterinary help may be necessary. If an animal is seriously ill, local veterinary help is essential.
- In the case of an animal previously attended by another veterinary surgeon, a letter should be sent to that veterinary surgeon, reporting on the homeopathic input.
- Whatever means of diagnosis are deemed appropriate to the case should be employed in each case. All the member’s veterinary skills should be brought into play for each case, where appropriate.
- Veterinary homeopathic skills should be applied with due reference to the principles, philosophy and theory of veterinary homeopathy.
- Follow-up of cases should be appropriate to each case.
- It is not anticipated that animals, which are brought for homeopathic or other alternative or complementary medicine but which are not part of the member’s practice, should be treated with conventional drugs by the member. If such work is deemed necessary, it should be referred back to the original referring veterinary surgeon, who is better able to monitor the treatment.
- In the case of animals unable to travel to the clinic, it is imperative that those clients are directed to closer veterinary homeopathic help if appropriate. If that option is not open, by virtue of no one practising near to the client, then such animals shall only be remotely treated with the consent of and via the attending veterinary surgeon, unless he/she declines that latter option.
- Advertising of veterinary services should not propose ‘postal/telephone’ treatments.
- Care should be taken not to make claims about services, abilities or medicines, which cannot fully be supported.
- It is advisable to proceed with great caution, and with the client’s express permission, in those species or in those clinical areas with which the member is not familiar.
- It is recommended that cases which prove difficult and in which animal welfare implications are involved, should be referred to a VetMFHom or equivalent, if the client still wishes to pursue a homeopathic option.
- As in all veterinary practice, all therapeutic options should be presented to the client, so that an informed choice can be made.
- Endorsement of commercial products or services is not condoned.
- When manning a commercial stand, at a show, exhibition or other event, as a result of involvement in or with a commercial organisation, it is essential that this opportunity is not used by a practising member to promote or advertise his or her own practice or professional skills.
- When manning a stand at a show, exhibition or other event, for an organisation, business or charity, for the purposes of promoting homeopathy for animals, it is essential that this opportunity is not used by a practising member to promote or advertise his or her own practice or professional skills.
- It is likewise important, in line with the RCVS ‘Guide’, that one’s position in veterinary practice is not used as an endorsement of any commercial products or services.
- In dealings with the media, when articles or other media items are describing the work of a member or quoting a member, that member must take appropriate steps to ensure that all material is professional and accurate. This important interface with the public should not run the risk of bringing either veterinary homeopathy or the Faculty of Homeopathy into disrepute.
- No disparaging remarks should be made to the client about the work of another veterinarian or about the previous treatment given to the patient by another veterinarian.
- In line with the principles of ‘open government’, it is suggested that it is not in any way reprehensible to refer a colleague’s conduct to an appropriate body, should it be felt that this conduct may reflect adversely on the welfare of animals or be otherwise unprofessional, illegal or unethical.
- For the purposes of this paper, ‘member’ shall be taken to imply Fellow, Member or Associate of the Faculty of Homeopathy.
Please bear in mind that, should litigation or professional conduct proceedings be brought against a member of the BAHVS who is not a Member or Associate of the Faculty, the presence of these guidelines is likely to form an important consideration in those proceedings nonetheless.
The Disciplinary Committee of the Faculty of Homeopathy has veterinary representation, in order to deliberate on any matters of conduct by veterinary members, which are brought to its attention by a member of the public or by another veterinarian. That body also exists to offer advice to any who require it.