Skip to main content

Back in 1935, the American Physiotherapy Association—the forerunner of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA)—issued a code of ethics.1 It stated, in part:

Practicing Ethically

Diagnosing, stating the prognosis of a case and prescribing treatment shall be entirely the responsibility of the physician. Any assumption of this responsibility by one of our members shall be considered unethical.

Yes, the profession has come a long way in the intervening 83 years. And physical therapists (PTs) with expertise in ethics say that with health care rapidly changing, the profession must stay ahead of the curve when it comes to ethics.

Log in or create a free account to keep reading.

Join APTA to get unlimited access to content.

  1. The American Physiotherapy Association Code of Ethics and Discipline. Presented at the Fourteenth Annual Convention of the American Physiotherapy Association, Atlantic City, NJ. June 1935.
  2. Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist. American Physical Therapy Association. Accessed February 11, 2018.
  3. Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant. American Physical Therapy Association. Accessed February 11, 2018.

You Might Also Like...


A Costly Loan

Dec 1, 2020

Unilateral action, a dual relationship, and unintended consequences.


The Problem With "Innocent" Meals

Nov 1, 2020

When a situation feels wrong, in all likelihood it is.


In the Wake of the Virus

Oct 1, 2020

Future needs prompt current concerns.