Ethical and Moral Dilemmas in the Treatment of an Abusive Parent -- the Occupational Therapy Perspective
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 1993; 12(3-4-5): 221-227
Treating patients who physically abuse their children creates in the therapist moral and ethical dilemmas which challenge his or her ability to maintain a professional conduct and attitude. In such cases the therapist usually finds himself or herself confronted with the following dilemmas: (a) treatment of a patient who experiences therapy as a no-choice situation; (b) treatment of a patient whose conduct is in conflict with the moral values of the therapist; (c) the obligation of the therapist to report the abusive acts to the authorities versus his or her duty to protect the patient's right to confidentiality; and (d) the therapist's loyalty to the patient's welfare, when it is in conflict with the abused person's welfare. These issues are illustrated through the following case study examined in the context of occupational therapy (OT): A 26-year-old married woman, mother to a four-month-old infant was referred to therapy after causing severe burns to her daughter's hands. As a child the patient experienced physical abuse by her parents. The patient viewed treatment as her only possible means of keeping her child. On the other hand, she was suspicious of verbal therapy, as she assumed that the contents might incriminate her. Occupational therapy was therefore a major therapeutic modality used to assess and improve her disturbed psychosocial occupational performances. The article describes the way in which the OT approach helped overcome and resolve the moral and ethical dilemmas raised in the case.
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Ethical Dilemmas in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy: A Survey of Practitioners in the UK National Health Service Barnitt, Rosemary (1998-06)OBJECTIVES: To identify ethical dilemmas experienced by occupational and physical therapists working in the UK National Health Service (NHS). To compare ethical contexts, themes and principles across the two groups. DESIGN: A ...