Interpreter Code of Ethics
As a practicing healthcare interpreter, you are expected to adhere to published codes of ethics for interpreters who work in the field of health care. You can review those codes of ethics:
- International Medical Interpreters Association (IMIA) Code of Ethics
- National Council on Interpreting in Health Care (NCIHC) Code of Ethics (PDF: 23 pages)
Please pay particular attention to the following provisions from NCIHC:
The interpreter maintains the boundaries of the professional role, refraining from personal involvement.
If you have a personal relationship with an individual, you should not act as an interpreter for this individual. If you must interpret for this individual because of limited numbers of people who speak a language, you must keep your role as an interpreter separate from your other interactions with this individual or his or her family. You may not use information you learn while interpreting for your own interests. This means you cannot use that information to try to keep a client or to become the interpreter for client's family members.
The interpreter strives to render the message accurately, conveying the context and spirit of the original message, taking into consider its cultural context.
The interpreter must convey everything that is said by the medical provider and the client in its entirety. You cannot respond for a client based on what you know or think you know about the client. You must interpret all dialogs between the client and the provider. This includes questions and answers about contact information for the client, as well as medical information.