ADA releases guidelines about ethics of vaccinations in the dental industry

The American Dental Association Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs has provided dentists guidance about the ethical and professional obligations regarding vaccinations in a white paper published April 27.

The paper doesn't focus on a particular vaccine, but on the more general vaccination process.

"The vaccination white paper serves as a guide to educate our members on an important issue that is the mainstay of our current generation," said Guenter Jonke, DMD, ADA council member and chair of its ethics subcommittee.

The paper analyzed a dentist's role surrounding vaccination, including administering vaccines and what obligations a dentist has regarding patient and staff vaccine refusal. The authors applied the five tenets of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct — autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice and veracity — to provide dentists guidance.

"The council has been discussing vaccines for several years now," said Robert Wilson, DDS, council chair. "The measles outbreaks that occurred a few years ago provided further impetus to begin the development of a white paper, and the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in unprecedented attention to vaccinations in the dental office."

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2021. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.