By Chioma Obinna
MEDICAL laboratory scientists who run foul ofÂ the codes and ethics of the profession are to face stiff sanctionsÂ from theÂ Medical Laboratory Science Council of Nigeria (MLSCN).
This warning which was handed downÂ to registered and unregistered practitioners alike came on the heels of the induction of more than 430 graduands into the profession last week in Lagos.
Speaking during the event at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Yaba, Lagos, Registrar of the Council, Lady Elizabeth Okonkwo said no level of quackery would be condoned as only principles of best practices were acceptable to theÂ Council.
Okonkwo who spoke extensively on the delicate nature of the profession warned thatÂ on no account should laboratory scientists base base their biomedical analyses on assumption.
â€œWhen you do not have a reliable result, you may not be able to handle it, please, there is nothing like I can manage it in this profession. Quackery is not allowed by the Council and even a professional can become a quack when he or she does not carry outÂ analyses according to the ethics of the profession.
â€œWe are going round the country to assess the facilities periodically to ensureÂ they are maintaining standards. We do not want standards to go down. There areÂ inspectors in every State of the Federation. Right now our monitoring team is in Adamawa and Benue States and this has to continue.â€
Presenting theÂ graduands, she saidÂ Council is seriously looking into how many years experience a professional ought tohave before opening a laboratory.
In a lecture entitled â€œProfessional Ethics in Medical Laboratory Practiceâ€, Elder Sam Olanisebe observed: â€œProfessionals should seek to safeguard patients and others, particularly in relation to health and safety.
Treat with discretion all confidential and other information requiring protection and avoid disclosing to any unauthorised person the result of any investigation or other information of a personal or confidential nature gained in the practice of their profession including laboratory document.
Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Dennis Agbonlahor who reminded the inductees of the doâ€™s and donâ€™tsÂ of the profession said erring practitioners wouldÂ be sanctioned. He warned that ignorance of the law would not be an excuse.