Consumer and citizen participation in health care: where are the principles for ethical conduct?
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Many health services strive to actively involve consumers and citizens in improving service provision and the safety and quality of health care. However, some health professionals and consumer and citizen participants have raised concerns about ethical issues that have emerged as a consequence of how some of these participation processes are implemented. Issues raised by both health professionals and consumer and citizen participants relate primarily to tokenism and social control practices. It is of paramount importance that the health sector develops ethical principles to underpin ethical conduct for consumer and citizen participation, and define accountability mechanisms to support ethical conduct. This not only protects consumer and citizen participants, but also health professionals.