Code of Ethics for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers



The Code of Ethics for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers serves as a foundation for sonographers’ ethical practice. It provides guidance for ethical relationships, responsibilities, behaviours and decision-making, and it is to be used in conjunction with the professional standards, laws and policies that guide practice.

The aim of this code of ethics is to promote excellence in patient care by fostering responsibility and accountability and thereby helping to ensure the integrity of professionals involved in all aspects of diagnostic medical ultrasound.

The code serves as a means of self-evaluation for ethical practice and provides a basis for self-reflection and feedback. It is designed to create an environment where ethical issues can be identified and discussed, and to provide guidelines for the practitioner regarding ethical behaviour.

The code informs other health-care professionals as well as members of the public about the ethical commitments of sonographers and supports the delivery of safe, compassionate, competent and ethical care.


First Principles:

Consider first the well-being of the patient:

  1. Practice the profession of sonography in a manner that treats the patient with dignity and a person worthy of respect.
  2. Engage in lifelong learning to maintain and improve your professional knowledge, skills and attitudes.
  3. Contribute to the development of the profession, whether through clinical practice, research, teaching, administration or advocating on behalf of the profession or the public.
  4. Refuse to participate in or support practices that violate the aspirations of the profession.
  5. Promote and maintain your own health and well-being.
  6. Practice competently, with integrity and without impairment.

Responsibilities to patient well-being:

  1. Provide information about the procedure and respond to the patient’s concern and questions:
  2. Respect the patient’s self-determination and the right to refuse the procedure
  3. Recognize the patient’s individuality and provide care in a non-judgmental and nondiscriminatory manner.
  4. Promote the privacy, dignity and comfort of the patient and his/her family.
  5. Protect the confidentiality of acquired patient information.
  6. Strive to ensure patient safety.
  7. Promote equitable access to care

Responsibilities to professional competence:

  1. Obtain the appropriate education and skills to ensure competence
  2. Practice according to published and recognized standards.
  3. Work to achieve and maintain appropriate credentials.
  4. Acknowledge personal limits and not practice beyond ones capacity and skills.
  5. Perform only those procedures that are medically indicated and properly requisitioned, thereby restricting practice to validated and appropriate tests. For research studies; follow established research protocol, obtaining and documenting informed patient consent as needed.
  6. Ensure the completeness of examinations and the timely communication of important information to the appropriate interpreter.
  7. Strive for excellence and continued competence through continuing education.
  8. Perform ongoing quality assurance.

Responsibilities to professional integrity:

  1. Be truthful and promote honesty in interactions with patients colleagues and the public.
  2. Accurately represent their level of competence, education and certification.
  3. Avoid situations which may constitute conflict of interest
  4. Maintain appropriate personal boundaries with patients including avoidance of inappropriate sexual conduct, be it verbal or nonverbal.
  5. Promote cooperative relationships within the profession and with other members of the health care community