Ethics in Physical Therapy

1741 WordsSep 29, 19997 Pages
Ethics in Physical Therapy One of the most rapidly growing occupations in the United States today is Physical Therapy. The United States Department of Labor has projected 23,000 unfilled physical therapist positions in the year 2000 and a lack of qualified physical therapists to fill them (www.apta.org). While Physical Therapy grows rapidly, questions of ethics in this field have also grown in large quantities. Physical therapy is the treatment of disease through physical means, including light, heat, sound waves, electricity, magnetic fields, and exercise (www.byu.edu). This means that therapists use many different forms to treat people, and treating people can be a large challenge because of all the different possibilities that…show more content…
They used a technique called the Delphi technique, where a panel of experts was selected and the experts responded to questionnaires stating their concerns with ethics. The experts narrowed their concerns down to three categories: patient rights and welfare, professional issues, and business factors. The experts chose six patient rights and welfare issues, five professional issues, and five relating to business factors to be the most important. The first issues addressed, the patients' rights and welfare issues, were the primary concern of the panel of experts. The issues at hand focused on interactions, confidentiality, sexuality, and consensual issues between doctors and patients. Any interaction between a doctor and patient should be understood and clear. Sexual activities between doctor and patient should be prohibited, and all interactions should be ensured as confidential. The second issues faced were professional ones. These issues dealt primarily with policies and relations between health professionals. Some issues listed in this category were maintaining clinical competence, supervising personnel, taking care of the environment, and reporting any misconduct of others. Therapists should be competent in their work, their personnel should be supervised at all times, their environment should be sanitary and clean, and they should feel obligated to report and wrong doing of their peers. The third and final category discussed was business and
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