Listed below are primary standards of care for physicians according to Illinois Medical Act Section 1285.240

  • Dishonorable, Unethical or Unprofessional Conduct
    1. In determining what constitutes dishonorable, unethical or unprofessional conduct of a character likely to deceive, defraud or harm the public, the Disciplinary Board shall consider whether the questioned activities:
      • Are violative of ethical standards of the profession (such as safeguard patient confidence and records within the constraints of law; respect the rights of patients, colleagues and other health professionals; observe laws under the Act and pertaining to any relevant specialty; to provide service with compassion and respect for human dignity);
      • Constitute a breach of the physician's responsibility to a patient;
      • Resulted in assumption by the physician of responsibility for delivery of patient care that the physician was not properly qualified or competent to render;
      • Resulted in a delegation of responsibility for delivery of patient care to persons who were not properly supervised or who were not competent to assume such responsibility;
      • Caused actual harm to any member of the public; or
      • Are reasonably likely to cause harm to any member of the public in the future.
    2. Questionable activities include, but are not limited to:
      • Being convicted of any crime an essential element of which is larceny, embezzlement, obtaining money, property or credit by false pretenses or by means of a confidence game, dishonesty, fraud, misstatement or moral turpitude;
      • Delegating patient care responsibility to any individual when the physician has reason to believe that the person may not be competent;
      • Misrepresenting educational background, training, credentials, competence, or medical staff memberships;
      • Failing to properly supervise subordinate health professional and paraprofessional staff under the licensee's supervision and control in patient care responsibilities; or
      • Committing of any other act or omission that breaches the physician's responsibility to a patient according to accepted medical standards of practice.
  • Immoral Conduct
    1. Immoral conduct in the commission of any act related to the licensee's practice means conduct that:
      • Demonstrates moral indifference to the opinions of the good and respectable members of the profession;
      • Is inimical to the public welfare;
      • Abuses the physician/patient relationship by taking unfair advantage of a patient's vulnerability; and
      • Is committed in the course of the practice of medicine.
    2. In determining immoral conduct in the commission of any act related to the licensee's practice, the Disciplinary Board shall consider, but not be limited to, the following standards:
      • Taking advantage of a patient's vulnerability by committing an act that violates established codes of professional behavior expected on the part of a physician;
      • Unethical conduct with a patient that results in the patient engaging in unwanted personal, financial or sexual relationships with the physician;
      • Conducting human experimentation or utilizing unproven drugs, medicine, surgery or equipment to treat patients, except as authorized for use in an approved research program pursuant to rules of the Illinois Department of Public Health authorizing research programs (77 Ill. Adm. Code 250.130) or as otherwise expressly authorized by law;
      • Committing an act, in the practice of persons licensed under the Act, of a flagrant, glaringly obvious nature, that constitutes conduct of such a distasteful nature that accepted codes of behavior or codes of ethics are breached;
      • Committing an act in a relationship with a patient so as to violate common standards of decency or propriety; or
      • Any other behavior that violates established codes of physician behavior or that violates established ethical principles commonly associated with the practice of medicine.
  • In determining what constitutes gross negligence, the Disciplinary Board shall consider gross negligence to be an act or omission that is evidence of recklessness or carelessness toward or a disregard for the safety or well-being of the patient, and that results in injury to the patient.

If you ever find yourself in need of any legal help related to nursing, please contact Illinois Nurse Defense Attorney James B. Goldberg at (312) 735-1185 or visit his website


(Source:  Amended at 29 Ill. Reg. 18823, effective November 4, 2005)