The International Charter for Human Values in Healthcare is a collaborative effort involving people, organizations, institutions and countries around the world who are working together to restore human values in healthcare. These fundamental values include the capacity for compassion, respect for persons, commitment to integrity and ethical practice, commitment to excellence, and justice in healthcare. They embody the human dimensions of healthcare and are fundamental to the practice of compassionate, ethical and safe relationship-centered care. These values represent the overarching goals that motivate scientifically sound, effective methods of care.
We believe that fundamental human values, such as those listed above, are both essential and universal. They are fundamental values that underpin a relationship-centered approach, and can be embraced by healthcare systems around the world — across cultures, languages, professions and disciplines. They are indispensably present in every healthcare interaction.
We believe that effective and caring communication is essential to restoring human values in health care. Values are realized by and manifested in language and the interaction process. Skilled communication underpins healthcare interactions and relationships, and plays an essential role in making values visible.
We believe these core human values that define the goals and processes of health care have yet to receive the emphasis necessary to make them central to every healthcare encounter. Placing emphasis on our core values will help to solve many problems in delivery of care — ranging from excessive cost and profit to inadequate care for the less fortunate and underserved.
The Charter is meant to inspire a movement to improve care by restoring the primacy of human values, to place them at the center, and to make them the goal of every effort in healthcare.