Ethics in SLP

The ethics in the ground-breaking field of speech language pathology have been rigidly followed throughout history. This can be detrimental however, because when pathologists are unwilling to deviate from the traditional course of things, they may be shutting down one of the few options a patient has. Pathologists need to understand that ethics are a basic guide in professional behavior, not a concrete rule of procedure. Students that are learning how to become pathologists aren’t being given this information, and aren’t learning the proper ethics that SLP involves.

Kerri Phillips, an assistant professor in the speech department at Louisiana Tech University, has this to say on the subject: 

“As the profession of SLP continues to change and expand, members must prepare to take the next step in ethics education. Professionals need to understand ethics, values, and their relationship to the decision-making process. Examination of moral values can assist with ethical decision-making and broaden the understanding of diversity. It should be recognized that “codes of ethics” only serve as guidelines for making decisions—clinically and ethically. Professional codes of ethics are policies set forth to govern professional conduct, they are not exhaustive or all-inclusive.

There is a need for empirical studies to investigate the teaching of ethics in speech-language pathology. The profession needs to conduct quantitative studies to determine the process of educating speech-language pathologists in ethical decision-making. ”


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