Client Relationships

Veterinarians must practise in a way that promotes effective communication, trust, meets confidentiality and consent requirements and recognises clients' right to choose
  1. Veterinarians must interact with clients in a way that promotes effective communication and trust. This includes:
    1. listening to clients, respecting their views, responding to their concerns and preferences and treating them with courtesy;
    2. not exploiting a client's lack of veterinary knowledge
    3. treating all client information and information related to the provision of veterinary services as the private information of the client except in circumstances where:
      1. the client has given consent for the information to be shared; or
      2. the information is disclosed in accordance with the principles of the Privacy Act 1993; or
      3. disclosure is required under the Veterinarians Act 2005.

  2. Veterinarians must obtain the client’s informed consent before proceeding with a proposed treatment/course of action. This includes:
    1. making sure clients have enough relevant information to make an informed choice about treatment options
    2. giving clients the information they need in a way they can understand
    3. checking clients' understanding of the information, and ensuring they have the ability and authority to give informed consent
    4. ensuring the informed consent process is adequately documented.

  3. Veterinarians must respect clients' rights to:
    1. use the services of more than one veterinarian
    2. seek a second opinion or referral
    3. decline or choose an alternate course of action to the one recommended by the veterinarian, provided the animal's welfare is not compromised

  4. Veterinarians are not obliged to accept new clients, continue to provide services to existing clients, or provide a requested treatment, providing animal welfare and professional standards are met.