Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 6892 (October 30, 2021).

49 Pa. Code § 21.711. Professional conduct.


§ 21.711. Professional conduct.

 (a)  Licensed dietitian-nutritionists shall:

   (1)  Conduct themselves with honesty, integrity and fairness.

   (2)  Practice dietetics based on scientific principles and current information.

   (3)  Present substantiated information and interpret controversial information without personal bias, recognizing that legitimate differences of opinion exist.

   (4)  Provide information which will enable patients to make their own informed decisions regarding nutrition and dietetic therapy, including:

     (i)   The purpose and nature of any evaluation, treatment, educational or training procedure.

     (ii)   The estimated cost of each stage of a procedure or of the entire treatment.

     (iii)   The reasonable expectations of the professional relationship.

     (iv)   The right to withdraw from treatment at any time.

   (5)  Safeguard the patient’s dignity, the right to privacy and the confidentiality of patient information and make full disclosure about any limitations on the LDN’s abilities to guarantee full confidentiality. This standard does not prohibit or affect reporting responsibilities under 23 Pa.C.S. Chapter 63 (relating to Child Protective Services Law), the Older Adults Protective Services Act (35 P.S. § §  10211—10224) and other statutes which may mandate reporting of this information.

   (6)  Provide professional services with objectivity and with respect for the unique needs and values of individuals.

   (7)  Be alert to situations that might cause a conflict of interest or have the appearance of a conflict. The LDN shall provide full disclosure when a real or potential conflict of interest arises.

   (8)  Permit the use of their names for the purpose of certifying that dietetic services have been rendered only if they provided or supervised the provision of those services.

   (9)  Accurately present professional qualifications and credentials.

     (i)   Dietitian-nutritionists may use the title ‘‘Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist’’ or abbreviation LDN only when they hold a current license issued by the Board.

     (ii)   LDNs are subject to disciplinary action for aiding another person in violating any Board requirement or aiding another person in representing himself as an LDN when that person is not currently licensed.

   (10)  Document and maintain accurate records in accordance with the acceptable and prevailing standard of recordkeeping. Discussion of a patient’s sexual practices, preferences and performance shall be fully documented in the patient’s chart, when applicable.

 (b)  The licensed dietitian-nutritionist may not:

   (1)  Knowingly aid, abet or assist another person to violate or circumvent a law or Board regulation.

   (2)  Discriminate, while providing dietitian-nutritionist services, on the basis of age, marital status, gender, sexual preferences, race, ethnicity, religion, diagnosis, socioeconomic status or disability.

   (3)  Knowingly permit another individual to use his license for any purpose.

   (4)  Misappropriate equipment, materials, property, drugs or money from an employer or patient.

   (5)  Solicit, borrow or misappropriate money, materials or property from a patient.

   (6)  Leave an assignment prior to the proper reporting and notification to the appropriate department head or personnel.

   (7)  Falsify or knowingly make incorrect entries into the patient’s record or other related documents.

   (8)  Engage in conduct defined as a sexual violation or sexual impropriety in the course of a professional relationship.

   (9)  Advertise in a false or misleading manner. Statements which qualify as false or misleading include the following:

     (i)   Statements containing a misrepresentation of facts.

     (ii)   Statements likely to mislead or deceive because in context the statements make only a partial disclosure of the relevant facts.

     (iii)   Statements intended to, or likely to, create false or unjustified expectations of favorable results.

     (iv)   Statements relating to fees without reasonable disclosure of all relevant variables so that the statements would be misunderstood by or would be deceptive to a layperson.

     (v)   Statements conveying the impression that the LDN could influence improperly any public body, official, corporation or person on behalf of the patient.

     (vi)   Statements containing a representation or implication that is likely to cause a reasonable person to misunderstand or to be deceived, or fail to contain reasonable warnings or disclaimers necessary to make a representation or implication not deceptive.

     (vii)   Statements containing representations that the LDN is willing to perform any procedure that is illegal under the laws or regulations of the Commonwealth or the United States.

   (10)  Practice when:

     (i)   The LDN has engaged in any substance abuse that could affect the LDN’s practice.

     (ii)   The LDN has been adjudged by a court to be mentally incompetent.

     (iii)   The LDN has an emotional or mental disability that affects his practice in a manner that could harm the patient.

   (11)  Accept a client or patient for treatment or continue treatment unnecessarily, if benefit cannot reasonably be expected to accrue.

   (12)  Accept or receive, or both, remuneration for making or accepting referrals.

Cross References

   This section cited in 49 Pa. Code §  21.704 (relating to matters related to allegations of impropriety or violation).

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