Code of Ethics
The American Society of Human Genetics
(ASHG) is a membership organization that
includes multidisciplinary professionals
with a common interest in human genetic
research and clinical practice. Society
members contribute to the advancement of
science for the benefit of health.
The Code of Ethics provides an ethical
framework for members as they work to
further the aims of ASHG. Members act in a
manner consistent with the good reputation
of the Society. Members do not represent the
Society as such. This Code of Ethics does
not replace the ethical or legal obligations
of individual members as set by their own
professional bodies, employers, or
ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE
Members advance both fundamental and applied
knowledge in human genetics for the benefit
of the public.
Improvement of Health Care
Promote public health, through the
advancement of human genetic research
and the provision of high quality
Educate employees, students, and
professionals to follow responsible
practice and genetic services,
consistent with the highest ethical
Treat trainees with respect and provide
them with opportunities for professional
growth and development.
Share knowledge in research, practice,
and ethics through publication,
professional meetings and conferences.
Encourage inter-professional and
international collaboration for the
benefit of health care. Meet applicable
and legal standards while conducting
Members comply with the highest ethical
standards such as honesty and courtesy. They
conduct themselves with appropriate behavior
Maintain professional competence
Advance their knowledge and
understanding of new scientific
and emerging areas of practice through
ongoing education and training.
Respect professional Codes of Ethics
Abide by the prevailing ethical and
legal norms of their profession.
Approach professional activities with an
unbiased attitude, gathering evidence
fairly and precisely.
Act responsibly toward colleagues,
government, corporate sponsors, the
health care community and the public at
large. Build public trust through
Treat colleagues and researchers with
respect and courtesy, based on
principles of equality and mutual
respect for those with differing
from different cultures. Share ideas
honestly, giving proper credit for
contributions to their work.
Members protect the privacy of the
individual, especially in light of concerns
over possible discrimination and
confidentiality of medical information.
Respect the confidential nature of all
information entrusted to them.
personal health information with proper
and specific authority through the
consent of the individual or where there
is a legal, ethical or professional
or duty to disclose.
Storage and security
Maintain confidentiality in creating,
storing, accessing, transferring, and
disposing of personal health
Members act fairly and provide complete,
accurate and timely information to their
colleagues, to the public, and to the media.
Claim expertise in fields where they
have the necessary depth of knowledge,
especially when interacting with
patients, or contributing to public
policy debate. Do not make statements
that are false, deceptive, or fraudulent
concerning research, practice, or other
work activities, or those of persons or
groups with whom they are affiliated.
Conflicts of interest
Disclose any potential conflicts of
interest. Safeguard the quality and
of their professional judgment.
Diffusion of results
Report findings accurately, completely,
without distortion and in a timely
manner. Present personal opinions as
such and not as those of the Society.
Foster public understanding of the
nature and objectives of human genetics
consistent with open and responsible use
of human genetic findings in science
and health care.
Approved March 2006
ASHG Board of Directors