Ari Ginsberg, PT, DPT, MSIOP
When I first decided to teach an ethics course I was very concerned. Every PT ethics CEU course I had taken in the past was painfully boring, to the degree that I found myself staring at my watch the whole time hoping the instructor would have mercy on us and end the CEU course early. How would I make ethics interesting? Was it even possible to make ethics interesting? Was I alone in being so disinterested in the courses I have attended? In trying to understand why I was so inattentive, I stumbled on some insight that helped me develop my ethics course to be unique and engaging.
One of the elements that was such a turn off to me was the moral clarity espoused by my past ethics CEU instructors. As a physical therapist and psychologist, I knew that ethics was not as clear cut as I had been led to believe. Many ethical principles lend themselves to multiple perspectives and the lines of demarcation are more fluid then perhaps we want to accept. I liken it to going over the speed limit. We all know that if the speed limit is 65 mph, we are supposed to drive 65 mph or under. How many of us are sticklers in religiously following the speed limit? Our justification for violating the speed limit is sound in our minds; the speed limit is for dangerous drivers, but I drive safely at high speeds. Another argument is that cops will only give you a ticket if you are at least 10 mph over the speed limit. As such, there is even speed limit ambiguity in the eyes of the law enforcers. It is imperative that we as PTs and OTs explore our viewpoints in similar situations in PT/OT professional practice. Further, how do we resolve dilemmas that involve conflicts between ethical principles? These are the questions I ask in Let’s Get Ethical: Ethical Boundaries for PTs/OTs.
As opposed to previous ethics courses that I have attended, my role is merely to facilitate thought and ethical introspection amongst audience members. I don’t view myself as the moral police, rather, I am a learner who is ready and open to listening to the moral arguments of the attendees. In fact, I never give my opinion as to which perspectives are “right” or “wrong. ” As long as the arguments are logical and are not openly spelled out by the APTA or AOTA Code of Ethics, we are entitled to resolving these dilemmas as we see fit. If you are a PT/OT that is interested in debate and analyses, and want to receive CEU credits, check out Let’s Get Ethical: Ethical Boundaries for PTs/OTs. It is a live or on-demand 2.5 hour CEU webinar that is approved by the AOTA, NJ Board of PT, NY Board of PT, and Ohio Physical Therapy Association. It fulfills the NJ Board of PT ethics requirements for PTs. Also eligible for PT CEUs in many other states. All the necessary info can be found at psychologyforthebodyceu.com or vimeo.com/ondemand/rehabethics. Looking forward to learning from you!