A therapist is working at a Physical Rehabilitation Therapy Clinic and a juvenile age 16 is referred to their clinic for treatment of severe burns that has limited the function of the patients arms and hands. Upon examining the child, the therapist notices several other burn marks, and unexplained bruises on the patient. The therapist works with the child for a couple of weeks, and begins pressing the child about how the burns and marks occurred. The child was being physically abused by their parents, but begs and pleads with the therapist not to report their parents for fear of being put in the states custody.
1. The therapist has to decide if she reports the child’s parents or agrees with the child not to report them. 2. The situation is an ethical problem because of the patient confidentiality clause and the therapist’s own ethics and moral beliefs. Does the therapist go against her beliefs and agree not to report the parents to the authorities, or does she report the parents preventing future injuries to the child, but going against the patient confidentiality since the patient is a child.
3. The therapist must first define the problem, then clearly understand and identify all options. Look into both legalities and ethics of the case, and come up with a course of action. Maybe even consult the APTA board. The therapist could lose the trust of the child and report his or her parents preventing future injuries, or the therapist could agree with the child and not report the parents which could lead to more harm maybe even death of the child.
4. This problem could have been avoided by the therapist not pressing the child into have telling her how the injuries occurred or by never having treated the child which neither would have been a good option. 5. I learned a lot from this assignment. I did not realize how ethics could play such a big role in physical therapy. There were many situations that came to mind like the pervious one, and even ones that happen inside a practice like an employee stealing.