Code of Ethics


Naturopathic Doctors have an obligation to act in a manner that justifies public trust and confidence, that upholds and enhances the integrity of the profession, that serves the interests of society and above all, that safeguards the interests of the individual patients.

The Code of Ethics defines the expectations the College of Naturopaths of Ontario has for every Member and is intended to guide naturopathic practice and assist in ethical decision making. The Code of Ethics, along with the Standards of Practice, forms the foundation of professionalism and Members adhere not only to these guidelines, but also to the underlying principles of Naturopathic Medicine.

General

Every Naturopathic Doctor shall:
  • Consider first the well-being of the patient.
  • Practise competently, with integrity, and without impairment.
  • Strive for professional excellence by advancing professional knowledge through lifelong learning.
  • Practise only within the limits of professional competence, in surroundings that do not compromise the quality of care offered.
  • Refuse any influence or interference that could undermine professional integrity. 
  • Refuse to participate in or support practices that violate basic human rights.

To the Patient

Every Naturopathic Doctor shall:
  • Practise in a manner that treats each patient with dignity and respect.
  • Provide care that respects the patient’s needs, values and dignity, and does not discriminate on any grounds, including on the basis of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status or disability. This does not negate the ND’s right to refuse to accept a patient for legitimate reasons.
  • Recommend only diagnostic procedures and treatments that he/she determines to be necessary for the well-being of the patient.
  • Be considerate of the concerns of the patient’s family and cooperate with them as appropriate in the patient’s interest.
  • Recognize and disclose conflicts of interest that arise in the course of professional duties and activities, and resolve them in the best interest of the patient.
  • Refrain from treating an individual where the member’s professional objectivity may be compromised.
  • Recognize professional limitations.  When indicated recommend to the patient that additional opinions and/or services be obtained and provide referrals where possible.
  • Recognize the patient’s right to accept or reject any health care recommended.
  • Safeguard the patient’s right to privacy and only disclose confidential information when either authorized by the patient or required to do so by law.
  • Avoid public discussions or comments about patients that could reasonably be seen as revealing confidential or identifying information.
  • Provide the patient with the information they need to make informed decisions about their care, and answer questions appropriately.
  • Respect the patient’s request for a second opinion.
  • Continue to provide services to the patient until they are no longer required or wanted; until another suitable practitioner has assumed responsibility; or until reasonable notice of termination of care has been provided to the patient. 
  • Participate only in research that is scientifically relevant and conducted ethically and is approved by a research ethics board where appropriate.
  • Recognize that community, society and the environment are important factors in the health of individual patients.

To the Profession

Every Naturopathic Doctor shall:
  • Recognize that self-regulation of the profession is a privilege and that each Naturopathic Doctor has an ongoing responsibility to merit the retention of that privilege.
  • Maintain and advance the standards of care, and body of knowledge and strive to improve professional knowledge, skill and judgment.
  • Behave in a manner that is beyond reproach.
  • Enter into associations, contracts and agreements only if they allow for professional integrity to be maintained.
  • Rely on ability and integrity to build a professional reputation.
  • Refrain from endorsing any service or product for personal gain.
  • Collaborate with other Naturopathic Doctors and health professionals in the care of patients and in the function and improvement of the health care system.
  • Refrain from keeping secrets from colleagues related to the diagnostic or therapeutic agents and procedures that are employed.
  • Treat colleagues with dignity and respect.

To Society

Every Naturopathic Doctor shall:
  • Consider the well-being of society in matters affecting health.
  • Strive to improve the standards of health care and promote health and safety for the individual, the public and the global community.
  • Recognize the profession’s responsibility to society in matters relating to the health and well-being of the community.
  • Recognize the responsibility to indicate when a stated opinion is contrary to the generally held opinion of the profession.
  • Recognize and manage the impact of his/her naturopathic practice on public health care resources.
  • Understand and minimize the impact of his/her naturopathic practice on the environment.

To the College of Naturopaths of Ontario

Every Naturopathic Doctor shall:
  • Comply with all governing legislation, Standards of Practice, policies, by-laws and guidelines approved by the College of Naturopaths of Ontario.
  • Report to the College any conduct of a colleague which may generally be considered unprofessional or unbecoming to the profession.
  • Cooperate with and assist the College in its work.

To Oneself

Every Naturopathic Doctor shall:
  • Strive to maintain personal health and well-being.
  • Recognize those stress factors in professional and personal life that can affect patient care and incorporate appropriate coping strategies.
  • Seek help from colleagues and appropriately qualified professionals for personal problems that might adversely affect service to patients, society or the profession.