AA: Ethical issues in physical therapy practice: A survey of physical therapists in New England. Physical Therapy
Author(s)Andrew A. Guccione
Contributor(s)The Pennsylvania State University CiteSeerX Archives
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AbstractThis survey was an attempt to identify which ethical decisions are most fre-quently encountered and are most difficult to make for practicing physical therapists. A questionnaire that described 30 situations with an ethical dimen-sion was sent to 450 American Physical Therapy Association members practicing in New England. A total of 187 (41.5%) usable questionnaires was returned. Issues raised by items were designated as primary, secondary, or nonpriority. Seven primary and 11 secondary ethical issues were identified. In brief, these issues involve the decision about which patients should be treated, what obli-gations are entailed by that decision, who should pay for treatment, and what duties derive from the physical therapist&apos;s relationship with other health profes-sionals, including physicians. Some of these decisions are more frequent in certain types of employment facilities than in others. Sources of ethical conflict and the role of the professional organization in defining moral values for the profession are discussed in this paper, and implications for education are presented.