Dictionary.com defines the letter of the law as its "precise wording"—as opposed to its "spirit or intent." Sometimes a dictate's wording is imprecise—inviting exactly the sort of "letter"-versus-"spirit" conflict around which the following scenario revolves.
Physical therapists (PTs) are motivated by their desire to do everything in their power to relieve pain, restore function, and help patients and clients live their lives to the fullest. But the ability to change lives is accompanied by the need always to consider the evidence and heed applicable laws. Consider the ethical responsibilities of the 2 PTs in the following scenario.
An Alternative Approach
Cindy is a "float" PT for a large health care system with numerous outpatient clinics, filling in for other PTs who are on vacation or leave. She enjoys the opportunity to work at various facilities, constantly meet new people, and treat patients who present with an array of conditions.