Ethical Dilemmas In Physical Therapy

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Ethical Dilemma
Logan is a six year, four month old boy who is an elementary school student in a severe/profound intellectually disabled classroom. A brief description of his medical diagnoses and functional status is required to address the ethical dilemma that this therapist currently faces as his school-based PT. Logan’s medical diagnoses include Kabuki syndrome, hypotonia, bilateral hip dysplasia, global developmental delays, horizontal nystagmus, visual impairment, and sensory processing disorder. He has a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tube to supplement his liquid and nutrition intake. Logan’s delayed cognitive skills require him to have full adult assistance to complete tasks. He is dependent on an adult for all activities of daily living. Presently, he has not developed a functional means of communication.
In the school system, physical therapy is a related support service which means supporting educational goals, not “stand alone” PT goals. Logan is well-known to this therapist. He has been on caseload upon entering the educational setting at age three. When he first entered the school system, he could only maintain sitting balance with support. He has made significant gains in his mobility and consequently, physical therapy supports his educational
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They must recognize their responsibility as autonomous practitioners to work on ethical quandaries in order to find a reasonable solution that is in the best interest of the patient”. This therapist is granted a great deal of autonomy as a school-based therapist and although the student’s IEP is a team process, when the ethical dilemmas involve my scope of practice, I need to be at the forefront of the decision

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