Ethics and Code of Conduct

A. PURPOSE

To define and publish the policy of Marin Treatment Center, Inc. (MTC) concerning professional ethics and personal conduct, and related expectations for staff involved in service delivery.

B. POLICY

All Contract and Consultation services will abide by this written Code of Conduct. It is recognized that no single policy can cover all conceivable situations that may occur regarding ethics and conduct. As a general policy, however, the Board of Directors of MTC expects all staff members to possess and adhere to the highest personal and professional standards of ethics and to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with MTC’s organizational philosophy and professional values in business, marketing, service delivery, professional responsibilities, and with other staff. Given the broad range of situations involving ethics and conduct-related issues, it is impossible to provide “all inclusive” guidance sufficient to cover all situations that may be encountered. All MTC professional and volunteer staff members sign an agreement to abide by the agency Code of Conduct that is cited below:

  1. As a member of the MTC professional or volunteer staff I place the welfare of our clients and their families in the highest regard.
  2. To this end, I will deliver kind and humane treatment to all in my care regardless of race, creed, age, sex, handicap, national ancestry, sexual orientation, economic condition, or any other factors of discrimination prohibited by law.
  3. I will not deliberately do harm to a client, either physically or psychologically. I will not verbally assault, ridicule, attempt to subjugate or endanger a client, and will appropriately intervene and report any such actions I may witness.
  4. I will urge changes in the lives of clients only on their behalf and in the interest of promoting recovery from illness. I will not otherwise press them to adopt beliefs and behaviors which reflect my value system rather than their own.
  5. I will remain aware of my own skills and limitations. Since clients and former clients may perceive me as an authority and hence over-value my opinions, I will not counsel or advise them on matters not within my area of expertise. I will be willing to recognize when it is in the best interests of my clients to release or refer them to another program or individual.
  6. I will not engage in any activity that could be construed as exploitation of clients for personal gain, be it sexual, financial, social or otherwise. I understand that entering into any relationship, other than professional, with a client prior to two years separation from services is prohibited.
  7. I will not attempt to use my authority over a client in a coercive manner to meet my own needs. I will not promote dependence on me but help clients empower themselves.
  8. I will not name or give information about a client, former client, or family member, except to other MTC staff and to outside entities only as allowed by the Health Information Protection and Portability Act (HIPAA) regulations and federal drug confidentiality regulations.
  9. I understand and agree to defend both the spirit and the letter of the MTC policy on client’s rights and the client’s bill of rights and to respect the rights and views of other professionals.
  10. As a caring and care giving person, I understand a therapeutic relationship does not end with persons leaving MTC. I will recognize the need to conduct any subsequent relationships with former clients with the same concern for their well being that is acknowledged above.
  11. In my personal use of alcohol and other mood altering drugs, I will serve as a responsible role model for clients, staff and the community. I agree to notify my supervisor of any mind-altering medications prescribed by a physician for my use within three days of a receipt of a prescription for such medications. (See also “Policy on Medications”.)
  12. (a) I understand that MTC is a non-profit publicly funded entity. As such MTC will arrange business agreements appropriate and necessary to perform the functions necessary for clinic business and patient needs. In doing so, MTC will secure agreements in keeping with confidentiality regulations and requirements as well as HIPAA.
    (b) I understand that at no time will MTC engage in activities or promote services contrary to the laws and regulations governing MTC. MTC will strive to maintain the highest ethical standards. As such, marketing practices are conducted in strict adherence to the agency’s “Conflict of Interest” policy (for Board, staff and volunteers) and will remain constant to the interest of clients. MTC maintains a business integrity that does not unethically affect clients, other like services, competitors, etc. MTC’s Human Resource activities will at no time condone or promote less than professional ethical behavior in carrying out its mission, purpose or functions. (See also “Personnel Policies”.)
  13. I will exhibit responsible concern for the well being of my peers and the MTC community by reporting manifestations of illness or unethical conduct of colleagues.
  14. I will accept responsibility for my continuing education and professional development as part of my commitment to providing quality care to those who seek my help.
  15. I agree to abide by the Code of Ethics that governs my profession or job description.
  16. I will maintain knowledge of current scientific and professional information related to the services I provide to clients of MTC.
  17. When a person volunteers or is a new hire or a new Board member they will be oriented to Code of Ethics and oriented annually thereafter.
  18. See “Personnel Policy” also for human resources ethics and responsibilities and see “Conflict of Interest Policy”.

C. PROCEDURE

In the event that an ethics or conduct violation is suspected, MTC is committed to the expeditious and objective investigation and resolution of the suspected violation, and to the greatest extent possible, corrective action to prevent future occurrences.If a staff member discovers or suspects that an ethics violation has occurred, the staff member should report the alleged violation to his/her supervisor. In the event that a supervisor is suspected of violating ethical standards, the staff member who discovers the suspected violation will report the violation to the Corporate Compliance Officer. In the event of an alleged violation involving the Corporate Compliance Officer, the staff member will report the alleged violation directly to the Executive Director. If waste, fraud, abuse, or other wrongdoing is reported, there will be no reprisal toward the reporting person nor toward any other person involved in investigating the reported activity.

The supervisor who initially receives the report of the alleged violation is responsible for reporting the situation to the responsible supervisor of the individual in question within five (5) working days. The responsible supervisor will, in turn, initiate an investigation into the alleged complaint within ten (10) working days after notification.

The Corporate Compliance Officer (or Executive Director in case of alleged misconduct of the Corporate Compliance Officer) has the option of investigating the alleged violation personally or assigning investigative responsibility to a senior staff member, but will retain ultimate responsibility for accurate and timely investigation and formulating any recommendations resulting from the investigative process.

All investigations involving alleged violations of ethical standards will be completed within ten (10) working days after the investigation is initiated. Results of the investigation – including any recommendations for administrative or disciplinary action – will be provided in writing to the Executive Director via the Corporate Compliance Officer.

The Executive Director’s review will be completed within ten (10) working days with a written response provided to all parties concerned. In summary, the entire investigative process is to be completed within ten (10) working days from the day of the initial report.

In the event that the Executive Director renders a decision involving an ethics complaint or investigation that is unfavorable to a MTC employee, the employee retains the right to seek further redress. Specific details for such redress are contained in the Personnel Policies Manual under “Disciplinary Action and Dismissal” and “Appeal” sections.