Code of conduct

Code of Conduct for Volunteers with Scandinavian Doctors

In cooperation with ERIKS Development Partner

Based on Christian values the Scandinavian Doctors strive to provide health care to people in low-income countries in accordance to their needs. Scandinavian Doctors realize this aim by making medical personnel – mainly doctors – available as volunteers in low-income countries.

Being involved with Scandinavian Doctors brings with it great responsibility, not only in the implementation of the voluntary work, but also in terms of the behaviour of the people involved. As a volunteer for the Scandinavian Doctors, you will be seen as a representative of the organization and the local partner during your service as well as during your leisure time. You should therefore observe the following code of conduct.

During my assignment with Scandinavian Doctors I will:

1. Promote health, prevent disease, treat the sick, relieve their pain and respond to patients on equal basis irrespective of gender, age, ethnic background, religion, sexual preferences, political beliefs, functional impairment or social status. I am bound by my confidentiality in the same way as in Europe.

2. Treat all people with respect. I will show respect for the culture, religion, and customs in the community where I work while I through dialogue with local partners promote understanding regarding how customs and practices might affect health and how they may evolve and change in accordance with human rights.

3. Learn about the cooperating partners work and aim, their specific activities and conditions, seek pragmatic solutions to problems and challenges that occur.

4. Use my authority with care and respect in meetings with colleagues, patients and partners. I will never abuse my position of power even if people feel as if they are in a position of dependency to me. I will not give other people benefits they would not normally have had.

5. Provide feedback and report on my mission and thereby contribute to the development of the activities at the hospital/project visited as well as of Scandinavian Doctors.

6. Follow guidelines adopted by the Scandinavian Doctors. This is especially important when it comes to the security guidelines attached to this document.

7. Make sure that, when taking photographs and publishing information in social media etc, I place the integrity and the best interest of a person/cooperating partner first. This is extremely important when publishing pictures of children in order for them not being exposed in a disadvantageous way. According to the law of GDPR I will also make sure to get a written consent from people on photographs taken for media publishing within Scandinavian Doctors/ERIKS Development Partner.

8. Abstain from starting action campaigns and involving myself in political spells during my assignment.

9. Not start own projects, fundraising activities or pledge support in my own name or the name of Scandinavian Doctors during my mission.

10. Not have any form of sexual contact with children under the age of 18. Not pay for sexual services. Not harass anyone sexually, neither physically nor psychologically. Avoid entering into any sexual relationships.

11. Not abuse alcohol or drugs. When I am on a mission for Scandinavian Doctors alcohol is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, such as official dinners or similar occasions. On these occasions, it is extremely important to consume alcohol in moderation. During my free time I should also be restrained in my alcohol consumption, as I am a representative for Scandinavian Doctors. I am aware that it is completely forbidden to consume alcohol when driving and that I as a passenger should react if I suspect that the driver is drunk. I will not involve myself with drugs, since possession or consumption of narcotic preparations are forbidden, unless they are prescribed drugs for my own use.

12. Promote a non-corruptive environment. This means that I will not misuse the resources of Scandinavian Doctors or the partner organization for my own benefit. I will not receive bribes either in form of money or other benefits with the aim of giving advantages of others.

13. Report irregularities such as misuse of money or other resources, exploitation of patients, staff or other persons, to the Scandinavian Doctors.

14. Be aware that, if I on my own initiative bring an accompanying person, the Scandinavian Doctors will not assume any formal responsibility for that person. It is important that the accompanying person understand that the cooperating partner or the local society might connect him/her with Scandinavian Doctors and as a representative for them. Therefore, he/she should be responsive to the local culture, act according to the laws of the country and is recommended to follow this Code of Conduct.

15. Discuss with the coordinator and the contact person in the visited hospital/project in case I feel there are reasons for not fulfilling my assignment.

This Code of Conduct is a guiding document that has been adopted by the Board of Scandinavian Doctors. From June 15th 2018, this document must be signed by all volunteers engaged in assignments on behalf of Scandinavian Doctors.

If the Code of Conduct is not followed, you will be given a written warning and get the possibility to respond to the allegations. Repeated or deliberate breach of the Code of Conduct will result in you being separated from your assignment and you will not be able to serve as a volunteer in the future. In the case of a very serious offense, you will be immediately separated from your assignment and have to go home.

Adopted by the Board of Scandinavian Doctors 2018-06-15. Updated 2022-11-29

Code of conduct.pdf