The MMA code of ethics statement is intended to promote quality care for childbearing families and provide guidance for professional conduct in the practice of midwifery.
Our code of ethics affirms and promotes:
- the intrinsic right of women to give birth as they choose.
- practices that enhance the health of the woman and her infant.
- childbirth as a normal and significant life event.
- the intrinsic right of parents to choose the location and attendants for the births of their children.
- cooperation between midwives and other professional and non-professional groups concerned with maternal and infant health.
- competence in midwifery practice.
- the discovery, encouragement, and training of midwives.
- continuing educational opportunities that upgrade midwifery skills.
- safe birth practices in all environments and cultures.
We affirm that the professional practice of midwifery includes the following ethical behaviors:
- Midwives should at all times maintain standards of personal conduct which reflect credit upon the profession.
- Midwives are accountable for their decisions and actions related to their practice of midwifery.
- Midwives implement quality standards of practice through peer review, accountability, grievance and continuing education.
- Midwives maintain a core of professional knowledge by examination of current practices and initiation of new research.
- Midwives participate in the education of midwifery students and the continuing education of other midwives.
- Midwives respect and maintain client confidentiality and protect the client's right to privacy.
- Midwives use professional judgment when sharing information necessary to achieve health care goals.
- Midwives consult and refer as necessary with other professionals, when the woman's need for care exceeds the competencies of the midwife.
- Midwives clarify the expectation of mutual responsibility with the client when choosing a course of action and the resulting outcome, including transfer of care.
- Midwives practice autonomously and affirm the value of accountability.
We believe that:
- competence requires responsibility in our personal and professional lives.
- midwifery is a unique profession, distinct from all others and determines the knowledge, skills, and behaviors to be maintained by a midwife.
- the practice of midwifery requires adaptation and integration of knowledge and skills into behaviors necessary to a particular context.
- the practice of midwifery is dynamic, not static. Rapid changes in the knowledge and skills of midwifery and related disciplines, changes in society, and changes in available health-care resources all force the definition of competence to evolve.
- by being competent, midwives assure their ability to contribute to the good of others and to prevent harm while also preserving their own integrity and that of the midwifery profession.