CARO Code of Ethics


A code of ethics expresses an organization’s moral values. Although it cannot in itself create or reform a moral character, it may at least quicken and inform a conscience. The aim of an ethical code is to establish an ideal of professional conduct. Such a code also signals the organization’s moral commitments to those who depend upon its members for services. In any profession, the test of moral seriousness depends upon personal compliance with ethical principles.

 CARO Principles of Ethics

The principles represent goals to which all radiation oncologists should aspire.

  1. Radiation oncologists shall respect and safeguard the welfare, rights, interests, and confidences of their patients. They shall strive to develop with their patients a common point of view concerning the goals of treatment, therapeutic alternatives, and what would be unacceptable risks.
  2. Radiation oncologists shall maintain due care and diligence in the treatment of patients.
    • Competence shall be maintained by continuous study and supplemented with the talents of other professionals and with consultation when indicated.
  3. The radiation oncologist must avoid partnerships or commitments that lead to self-referral of patients or any overt conflict of interests that may impair judgement.
  4. Radiation oncologists shall not enter patients into any clinical trial that is not well-designed, that is, inconsistent with the patient’s best interest, or uses a therapeutic protocol he/she believes to be less effective than any established treatment method.
    • The patient must be informed and understand the nature, duration and purpose of a clinical trial, the methods by which it is to be conducted, the inconveniences and hazards reasonably to be expected, and the potential effects that may result from participation.
  5. Radiation oncologists shall identify and report to the proper authorities persons who are impaired in their ability to function as physicians or health professionals, or who engage in fraud, quackery, or deception.
  6. Radiation oncologists shall avoid any commercial relationships that undermine independent professional judgement.
  7. Collegiality, openness and mutual respect shall characterize the relationships among radiation oncologists.
  8. Radiation oncologists shall participate in activities that lead to the improvement of the health of the community.