Australian Psychedelic Society Publishes Code of Ethics

Here’s what they say

Australian Psychedelic Society Code of Ethics


To clarify the values of the Australian Psychedelic Society (APS), and in doing so, to articulate the behaviour expected of members, volunteers and anyone else who represents the Society. This document is intended to guide decision-making processes at all levels, from strategic planning to day-to-day operations. It is a public statement of what the APS stands for and expresses our commitment to a high standard of ethical conduct.

Trustworthiness: Act with integrity and responsibility

1. Do your best to honour your obligations and commitments, communicating your unavailability or inability to do so appropriately. This responsibility includes duties to maintain the security of confidential information.

2. Declare conflicts of interest to ensure we manage them appropriately. Do not improperly use your position within the APS for personal gain.

Respect: Support safety, autonomy and diversity

3. Safety, autonomy, and diversity of body, mind and spiritual belief are central to the purposes of the Australian Psychedelic Society. Strive to respect these interrelated principles in both yourself and others.

4. APS members and volunteers are responsible for helping maintain a physically and psychologically safe environment for each other and any members of the general public we interact with.

5. Physical safety can be compromised when boundaries are physically violated without consent, and this can happen deliberately or through negligence or carelessness. Recognise these boundaries and always seek active and enthusiastic consent before attempting any physical interaction.

6. Psychological safety can be compromised when a person does not feel safe expressing themselves. Do not impede people from communicating what is important to them unless this is necessary to protect health, wellness and safety, or to limit hateful or abusive speech. Ensure that everyone is given a chance to speak if time is limited.

7. Be mindful and considerate of the vulnerabilities and psychological boundaries of others. Respectfully communicate before acting if unsure. Failure to do so can have a negative impact on psychological safety and overall mental wellbeing. This consideration is significant if you are in a position of authority or power.

8. Respect for autonomy means respecting people’s agency and their right to make decisions for themselves. Always practice informed consent. Remember that when someone perceives you as a power figure or authority, it can change how they feel about you and what you say. Do not, under any circumstances, abuse this.

9. Respecting diversity means respecting people’s individuality and difference across a range of areas. This diversity includes (but is not limited to) opinions relevant to the purposes of the APS.

10. Understand that respecting a person in any of these regards does not mean you have to agree with them.

11. Know that your rights to safety, self-determination and individuality do not extinguish or override these same rights in others, and vice versa.

12. When communicating, use language to suit your audience, avoiding jargon and explaining technical terms.

13. Violations of physical & psychological boundaries, violations of consent, lack of respect for diversity, or abuses of power will be treated particularly seriously and are grounds for disciplinary action.

Knowledge: Utilise evidence, reflection, and awareness

14. Strive to use the best evidence and careful reasoning in all education, harm reduction, and advocacy activities. This standard applies to the creation and curation of content and is as important on social media as when responding to government inquiries.

15. Take the time to regularly reflect on your ideas, strategies, and actions, both individually and with others. Reflection helps avoid the habitual & automatic thinking that leads to errors of judgment and associated negative psychological impacts such as burnout.

16. Be aware of the limits of your knowledge and expertise, and act accordingly. Practice humility, but do not feel compelled to agree with blatant misinformation. Where required, seek advice from respected experts in the relevant field.

17. The limits of your knowledge include being mindful of uncertainty about whom you are responding to via social media or email and the need for caution in disclosing personal details or sensitive information.

Strategy: Consider perception, negotiation and community

18. When acting on behalf of the APS, consider how your actions could benefit or hinder the psychedelic community and the organisation itself. This consideration is crucial in outward-facing activities and public communications.

19. Think about whether you need to spend time and energy arguing for uniformity where compromise is enough.

20. Achieving long-term goals can involve difficult ethical decisions. Those in leadership roles should be aware of these complexities and collaborate with others in the decision-making process. Strategic planning and negotiation of inter-organizational relationships or arrangements must always align with long-term goals and core values.

21. Encourage community input and participation in advocacy and other activities. This involvement strengthens networks and helps ensure that we represent and act in the interests of psychedelic communities.



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