Medical Interpreting

Chair:

Jan Cambridge (ITI), United Kingdom, E-mail

Members:

Linda Joyce (IMIA), USA, E-mail

Lin Zhang(IMIA), China, Beijing, E-mail

Ester Leung (IMIA), China, Hongkong, E-mail

Anna Kenny (AUSIT), Australia, Sydney, E-mail

Elizabeth Abraham, E-mail

Observer:

Izabel Arocha (IMIA), USA, E-mail

Mandate:

The Medical Interpreting Committee will work to increase the visibility of medical interpreters internally and externally and also to recruit further members from this sector.

Activity report: The committee has collected interpreter codes of conduct from around the world and will soon upload them so that other committee members may see what medical interpreters do. These codes will be compared and analysed and the result published on this page.

Analysis of codes

A code of conduct has to have a core of ethical principles. Guides to good practice assist with managing unforeseen circumstances.  A code of conduct for interpreting in any domain has to offer the language support practitioner consistency of performance. It must also allow for the interpreter’s work to meet the needs and expectations of the various public service providers as well as local cultural and legal norms in country.

Doctors, Nurses and Social Workers are responsible for service user safety and protection. Interpreters are responsible for the integrity of messages, meaning that they must interpret fully and faithfully in the style of the original utterance, as it was voiced or signed.  In many countries clinical staff have statutory obligations to protect service users’ safety under their professional codes of conduct. Under their codes interpreters are responsible  for the integrity of messages, so that clinical staff may rely on the accuracy  of relayed messages in order to fulfill their statutory obligations to promote safety. Interpreters’ codes of conduct therefore focus on that obligation to maintaining the integrity of messages.

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