Corporate Information - Ethics

 

Guidelines reviewed and approved by Board of Directors on May 9, 1999

The Genex Diagnostics code of ethics is intended to ensure appropriate and proper conduct. It sets forth the principles and standards of the laboratory and is intended to be used as a guide for all Genex laboratory personnel in their activities and conduct.

Guiding principles which underlie this code of ethics:

1. Our responsibility to our patients and clients

Above all else, we believe that our first responsibility is to our patients and clients, to the families who rely upon us for our testing services. In meeting the needs of our clients, we must do everything within our capacity to provide our clients with the highest quality testing services using only the latest and most accurate DNA technology. Because testing accuracy, speed, pricing and reliability are strongly dictated by technology in the modern DNA laboratory, we must strive to always be on top of the latest testing technology, to be equipped with the newest and most advanced testing equipment, and to only provide the latest and most accurate service available to modern DNA technology. We must constantly strive to maintain reasonable prices. Accuracy is of utmost importance and we must not under any circumstance sacrifice accuracy. In the event that extra testing is required to reconfirm data for special cases, accuracy must never be sacrificed for speed or expense. Each individual case must be services promptly and accurately. We must maintain the privacy of our patients and we must never use patient samples and files for any other purpose other than what it was originally intended.

2. Our responsibility to our employees

We must be fully responsible to our employees: to our technical staff, our laboratory staff, and office staff who work with us within our facility as well as to our hundreds of contract personnel and registered nurses who work off-site throughout the country. All of our staff must be respected as individuals and recognized for their merit. Our staff must be provided with a sense of security in their jobs and compensation of our staff must be fair and adequate. Working conditions must be clean, orderly and safe. Our employees must be free to make suggestions and complaints. We must ensure that we always provide an equal opportunity for employment and development and we must provide an opportunity for advancement for qualified individuals. The actions of our management team must be fair and ethical.

3. Our responsibility to our community

We must be responsible to our community in which we live and work. We must encourage improvements in testing technology to ensure better, faster, and more affordable services. A portion of our proceeds is to be put aside for DNA disease based research with a strong focus on cancer gene therapy. Our laboratory must ensure that we are mindful in the protection of our environment in our everyday conduct through proper recycling procedures.

A. The Laboratory Personnel

1. Laboratory personnel should perform their professional duties in a manner consistent with current standards of good practice in their specialty as outlined in CAN-P-4D, and GTB-QM.

2. Laboratory personnel should strive to increase their knowledge and skill in order to provide the patient with a high level of professional service by keeping up to date with current developments in DNA testing technology, regularly attending relevant conferences, and keeping in touch with other experts in the field of DNA technology and DNA statistics.

3. Laboratory personnel must adhere to currently accepted methods and practices in the DNA lab in accordance to the Parentage testing protocols and procedures manual (GTB-PPM).

4. Laboratory Directors must have doctoral degrees in molecular biology.

5. The test results should only be provided upon completion of testing.

6. Although the majority of tests are completed in the required time frame, from time to time, special situations may arise during testing which require extra testing time. In the event that delays are encountered during testing due to lack of DNA on swab samples, or naturally occurring mutations in the patient's genome, it may be necessary to conduct additional testing. Under such circumstances, extra time must be allowed to properly complete all necessary additional tests to generate conclusive results.

B. The Testing Facility

1. The testing facility must maintain the highest testing standards.

2. The testing facility must ensure that it complies with guidelines set forth by the paternity testing quality control protocols laid out by the AABB (American Association of Blood Banks).

3. The testing facility must keep up to date with current technology.

4. As DNA testing technology is rapidly advancing with newer, faster, and more accurate and more automated technology available each year, it is the responsibility of the laboratory to have the funds available to be equipped with only the latest technology as they become available to ensure that the fastest, most affordable and most accurate testing is provided at all times.

5. The laboratory must have policy manuals for users of the laboratory as well as policy manuals governing work within the laboratory.

C. The Client

1. The client must be treated with dignity and respect.

2. The laboratory must safeguard the dignity and privacy of patients.

3. The laboratory should carry out their professional acts for the client once undertaken, to their conclusion.

4. The laboratory should preserve patient information in professional confidence, unless required to reveal such information by law.

5. A single test may often involve several individuals or family members. In performing the test, the laboratory may require personal information which is specific to the individual (e.g. contact information). The laboratory must ensure that other than the information intended in the final report, personal information regarding each individual that are not relevant to the purpose of the test must not be inappropriately disclosed to other parties involved in the test without specific written consent of the individual.

6. The laboratory must ensure that proper identification procedures are in place during sample collection (fingerprinting, photography) to allow proper verification at a later date. Personal identification documentation are only to be released for the purpose of positive identification of patients when reviewing the results in the final test report. Personal identification documents must not be disclosed for any other purpose without prior written consent of the specimen donor.

7. The laboratory should issue their reports only to the individuals directly involved in the test or to the lawyers, social workers, or physicians who were pre-authorized to receive such information.

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