Under the Bylaws of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), the Ethics and Judicial Committee (EJC) has responsibility for interpreting the ethical principles and standards of the Association. Bylaws, Article IX, Section 1(B)(1). The EJC's primary interpretations are the Guide for Professional Conduct, which interprets the ethical principles applicable to physical therapists, and the Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant, which interprets the ethical standards applicable to physical therapist assistants.
In 1999, the APTA Board of Directors adopted procedures concerning requests for the EJC to issue interpretations relating to ethics. See Procedural Guidelines Concerning Ethics and Judicial Committee Interpretations or Opinions (BOD 03-99-04-09). An APTA member or other interested party may submit to the EJC a written request for an interpretation or opinion.
The EJC has issued the following opinions pursuant to the Board's procedural guidelines:
EJC Opinion: Nov. 3, 2002
Topics: Patient's Best Interests; Physical Therapist's Self-Interest/Disclosure/Free Choice
EJC Opinion: April 12, 2002
Topic: Preserving Confidences; Reporting Obligation with Respect to Unethical, Incompetent, or Illegal Acts
EJC Opinion: Aug. 3, 2001
Topic: Sexual Relationships with Patients/Former Patients
EJC Opinion: Sept. 14, 2000
Topics: Duty to Patient's Physical, Psychological, Socioeconomic Welfare; Wealth Distribution and Moral Hazard; Overutilization of Services; Rationing of Care Among Patients
EJC Opinion: Sept. 7, 2000
Topics: Conflict of Interest (in treating fellow employees); Privacy/Confidentiality; Adequacy of Resources