Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics of the BAPT sets forth for the ethical practice of Physiotherapy. All Physiotherapists are responsible and maintaining and promoting ethical practice.
PRINCIPLE 1: A Physiotherapist shall respect the rights and dignity of all individuals and shall provide compassionate care.
Everyone who seeks the services of a Physiotherapist has the right to service regardless of age, gender, race, nationality, religion, ethnic origin, creed, colour, sexual orientation, disability, health status or politics.
Patients/clients have the right to:
● services of the highest quality
● information about the physiotherapy services
● either provide informed consent or right to refuse treatment
● access to data
● health education and health promotion
● choose who if anyone should be informed on his/her behalf
Physiotherapists have the absolute responsibility to ensure that their behaviour is at all times professional, ensuring that the potential for misconduct cannot arise. Physiotherapists have the right to expect co-operation from their colleagues, manufacturers and other agents to advocate for their client.
PRINCIPLE 2: A physiotherapist shall comply with laws and regulations governing physiotherapy within The Bahamas and shall strive to effect changes that benefit
Physiotherapists will have a full understanding of the laws and regulations governing the practice of physiotherapy. They have the right to refuse to intervene/treat or otherwise intervene when, in their opinion, the service is not in the best interests of the patient/client.
Physiotherapists have the right to advocate for patient’s/client’s access to physiotherapist services when, in their opinion, there is restricted access to those who have the capacity to benefit.
PRINCIPLE 3: A physiotherapist shall exercise sound professional judgment. Physiotherapists are professionally independent and autonomous practitioners.
They make independent judgements in the provision of services for which they have knowledge and skills. This includes developing goal based treatment plans in collaboration with patients/clients based on accurate assessment and diagnosis, accurate clinical advice and discharge planning.
Physiotherapists shall not delegate to another health professional or support worker any activity that requires the unique skill, knowledge and judgement of the physiotherapist.
If the patient/client has been referred to the physiotherapist by a medical or other practitioner and a treatment programme has been prescribed it is the responsibility of the physiotherapist to assess and determine the most appropriate intervention/treatment.
Physiotherapists have the right to expect co-operation from their colleagues.
Physiotherapists will take responsibility for their own health and wellbeing and ensure the exercising of sound professional judgement is not compromised.
PRINCIPLE 4: A physiotherapist shall provide and maintain honest, competent, and accountable professional services.
Physical therapists undertake a continuous, planned, personal development programme ensure that their behaviour and conduct is professional at all times.
The Physiotherapist shall:
• Deliver timely, patient/client-specific physiotherapy intervention/treatment in line with the individual’s goals
• Ensure that patients/clients understand the nature of the service being provided, especially the anticipated costs (both time and financial)
• Undertake a continuous, planned, personal development programme designed to maintain and enhance professional knowledge and skills such as participating in peer review and other forms of practice evaluation, the results of which shall not be disclosed to another party without the permission of the physical therapist.
• Maintain appropriate patient/client records to allow effective evaluation of the patient’s/client's services rendered and evaluation of the physiotherapist's practice
• Not disclose any information about a patient/client to a third party without the patient’s/client's permission, unless such disclosure is required by law
• Participate in peer review and other forms of practice evaluation, the results of which shall not
be disclosed to another party without the permission of the Physiotherapist
• Maintain data to facilitate service performance measurement and make that data available to other agents as required by mutual agreement.
• Not allow their services to be misused or abuse their professional power
The ethical principles governing the practice of Physiotherapy shall take precedence over any business or employment practice. Where such conflict arises, the Physiotherapist shall make all efforts to rectify the matter, seeking the assistance of the Bahamas Association of Physiotherapy if required.
PRINCIPLE 5: A Physiotherapist is committed to providing quality services.
• be aware of the currently accepted standards of practice and undertake activities which measure their conformity
• participate in continuing professional development to enhance and improve their knowledge and skills
• support research that contributes to improved patient/client interventions and service delivery • keep up to date with the best evidence available and implement it in their practice • support quality education in academic and clinical settings
Physiotherapists engaged in research shall ensure that they:
• abide by all current rules and policies applying to the conduct of research on human subjects • have obtained subjects’ informed consent
• have obtained approval from relevant ethical and administrative bodies
• protect subjects’ confidentiality
• protect subjects’ safety and well-being
• do not engage in fraud or plagiarism
• fully disclose any research support and appropriately acknowledge any assistance • report any breaches of the rules to appropriate authorities
• freely share the results of their research, especially in journals and conference presentations
Physiotherapists in the role of employer shall:
• ensure all employees are properly and duly qualified, ensuring compliance with statutory requirements
• apply current management principles and practices to the conduct of the service, with particular attention to appropriate standards of personnel management
• ensure policies and procedures are properly developed, implemented and monitored • ensure that clinical practice is appropriately evaluated and audited
• provide adequate opportunities for staff education and personal development based on effective performance appraisal
PRINCIPLE 6: A physiotherapist shall seek only such remuneration as is deserved and reasonable for physiotherapy services.
• ensure that their fee schedules are based on prevailing market conditions
• ensure that fees charged offer value for money
• ensure as much as possible that reimbursement from third-party funders are reflective of and consistent with good practice (third-party funders should not seek to exert control in any way that restricts the scope of practice of physiotherapists or inhibits their right to fair remuneration)
• ensure that influence is not misused
• ensure that sound and ethical business principles are applied when dealing with suppliers, manufacturers and other agents
PRINCIPLE 7: A physiotherapist shall provide accurate information to patients/clients, other agencies and the community about physical therapy and about the services physical therapists provide
• shall participate in public education programmes, providing information about the profession • shall inform the public and referring professionals truthfully about the nature of their service so that individuals are more able to make a decision about the use of the service
• may advertise their services in a professional manner consistent with the law of the jurisdiction in which they practice.
• shall not use false, fraudulent, misleading, deceptive, unfair or sensational statements or claims • shall claim only those titles which correctly describe their professional status
PRINCIPLE 8: A physiotherapist shall endeavor to contribute to the planning and development of services that address the health needs of the community.
• participate in planning services designed to provide optimum community health • work toward achieving justice in the provision of health services for all people
World Physiotherapy. Policy statement: Ethical Principals and the Responsibilities of Physical Therapists and Member Organizations. London, UK: World Physiotherapy; 2019. Available from: https://world.physio/sites/default/files/2022-03/PS-2022-Ethical_responsibilities_principles_Eng.pdf?logged_in=true