Catalogue Number: 899
Code of professional conduct
Sub-Category: Professional rules, code of ethics
Association: Victorian Optometrical Association
Year Of Publication/Manufacture: 1950
Time Period: 1940 to 1999
Place Of Publication/Manufacture: Melbourne
Publisher/Manufacturer: Victorian Optometrical Association, printed by Stuart Taylor. Melbourne
Description Of Item: Booklet, 176mm H x 107 mm W, printed light grey stiff card cover. 16 pages centre stapled, including title page, page listing office bearers of the Victorian Optometrical Association and an introduction page. Printed title with crest of the association on the front cover. Four copies.
Historical Significance: Optometrists aspired to being accepted as health professionals during the greater part of the 20thC. They sought to emulate the medical profession by adopting similar statements of codes of ethics and professional leaders sought to persuade their colleagues to show restraint in advertising, as was then the case in the medical profession, and not to have window displays, so that the professional service in the consulting room was seen as pre-eminent and dispensing was a secondary. This code of professional conduct published by the Victorian Optometrical Association in 1950 recommends that optometrists (1) not advertise other than by means of a visiting card size announcement of name, address and designation as optometrist and optician, (2) not have a window display of spectacle frames at their premises, and (3) practice as a sole practitioner or a partnership, not as a company. There was considerable debate about the extent to which advertising by optometrists should be permitted when the Opticians Registration Act was drafted for enactment in 1935. Some corporate groups of optometrists wished to have no restrictions. Ophthalmologists made their support for the Act, and their cooperation with optometrists in teaching, dependent on optometrists not advertising, but did so with the devious intent of excusing their lack of cooperation and to make clear that optometry was not a profession and therefore inferior.
Location: Archive office. Pamphlet and ephemera filing cabinet. Drawer 2