Dental Ethics Case 6. Stalled Payment for Ongoing Orthodontic Treatment -- Balancing Responsibilities
SADJ : journal of the South African Dental Association = tydskrif van die Suid-Afrikaanse Tandheelkundige Vereniging 2010 Oct; 65(9): 434-5
It is not always easy for an orthodontist to strike the right balance between a caring, supportive and patient-centered approach, and the need to make a living and to run a profitable business in order to achieve this. Striving to act ethically and professionally at all times will help find this elusive balance and ultimately it will be more rewarding and professionally satisfying. Especially when dealing with children whose lives may be dramatically affected by the interruption or cessation of treatment, orthodontists have a duty to reassure themselves about the financial stability of their contractual relationships with patients or parents. Having consistent financial policies and flexible payment options may assist in this regard. Even in the face of non-payment of fees, treatments that have begun must in some form continue if their cessation would compromise the best interests of patients.
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