This text based course is a transcript of the live webinar titled, "Ethics in Rehabilitation: A Clinical Perspective for Occupational Therapists", presented by Kathleen Weissberg M.S., OTR/L.
>> Kathleen Weissberg: Thank you for taking time out of your day to learn a little bit more about ethics.
The objectives for today are going over the basic principles of ethics and their application to occupational therapy. We are going to talk about the code of ethics that governs OT practice. We are going to talk about ethics in health care and professional licensing. We are going to talk about what is unethical or unlawful by most credentialing boards. Finally we are going to look at a few different ways of analyzing ethical dilemmas.
Professional ethics incorporates values, principles, and morals into our professional decision-making. When we do not have guidance or values or morals, we fall into traps that cause trouble for ourselves or society in general. No one wants to see a member of our own profession on the front page of the newspaper or headlining some social network. To avoid these ethical and legal problems, we try to instill our own values to avoid and prevent unwanted professional behaviors. We, dedicated to a common purpose with common training, draw upon our training, our professional obligations and our code of ethics to guide our behavior in some of these circumstances. The professional code of ethics incorporates a set of rules or principles that are intended to express the values of our profession as a whole, and we have an obligation to our profession to abide by our association's code of ethics. Oftentimes the licensing boards or other credentialing agencies will adopt the professional code of ethics, and there are other times when those credentialing bodies will have their own code of ethics. You need to be responsible for more than just AOTA's in some circumstances.
Code of Ethics
The code of ethics will help to promote the basic tenets of the profession. They codify our fundamental beliefs and our common moral values. The code of ethics give meaning to the uniqueness of what occupational therapists do. It creates a bond between all of us to practice according to a common standard. It provides the basis for the meaning of what it means to be an OT. They are a measure of proper professional behavior as an element of the standard of care that we are supposed to render. Rarely does a code of ethics, and OT is an example of this, provide us with an absolute guide to our behavior in any given circumstance. The code of ethics just provides us with a point of reference to guide our practice and our decision-making.
Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics
It is one of the handouts that came along with the course materials. The AOTA Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics and Ethics Standards is a public statement of principles used to promote and maintain the high standards of conduct within the occupational therapy profession. While a lot has changed over the course of our history, much more has remained the same.