A Massage Therapist's Code of Ethics.
By Luis Gerardo Galvan Reyes, RMT.
February 13th, 2017.
As a Regulated Health Care Profession, Massage Therapy is bound to the highest standards of care. Not only in the technical aspect of the profession, but also in regards of the interpersonal relationships that therapists develop with their clients.
For this purpose, our regulatory body, the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario (CMTO), has created a Code of Ethics. A very well rounded guide to professional behavior. And today I want to share with you all a little bit about its contents.
According to the CMTO, the Code of Ethics expresses our ethical values, obligations and goals of the profession. It defines our commitment to practice in ethical terms, and lays out clearly the massage therapy profession's values, explaining what we ought to do in order to protect and promote the public good. All Massage Therapists are expected to maintain a commitment to massage therapy values and to follow the principles outlined in the Code.1
The Code of Ethics lays down four principles, which guide the practice of Massage Therapy.
Principle I - Respect For Persons. It means to value the dignity and worth of all persons regardless of age, race, culture, creed, sexual identity, gender, ability and/or health status. For example: ensuring that clients are as fully involved as possible in the planning and implementation of their own health care; providing complete and accurate information in a sensitive and timely fashion to enable clients to make informed choices; listening to and respecting a client's values, opinions, needs, and cultural beliefs; encouraging and being responsive to a client's choice to accept, augment, modify, refuse or terminate treatment; being informed about moral and legal rights of a client; advocating for and supporting a client in exercising his/her moral and legal rights; safeguarding the client's right to privacy and confidentiality by holding all personal and health information in confidence unless otherwise required by law.
Principle II - Responsible Caring. It means to providing sensitive, compassionate and empathetic quality massage therapy. For example: listening to and respecting the client's values, opinions, needs, and cultural beliefs; promoting the client's best interest and well-being, through the highest possible standard of professional practice; seeking assistance when conflicts arise between the value systems of the practitioner and the client; recognizing and referring the client to other health care providers when it is in the client's best interest to do so; being alert to and reporting, as required, any unethical practice by any member of the regulated health professions; approaching and co-operating with substitute decision makers in assessing the client's wishes and best interests in the event of incapacity; protecting the client's physical and emotional privacy; collecting only that information which is relevant to the provision of health care.
Principle III - Integrity in Relationships. It means to practice with integrity, honesty and diligence in our professional relationships with ourselves, our clients, our professional colleagues and society. For example: ensuring that we always act in our client's best interest as defined by the client's wishes and consistent with the standards of practice of the profession; informing the client about health care services available to support them; referring to other health care providers as necessary and appropriate; obtaining assistance when value conflicts arise which threaten to impede client autonomy; providing client-centered health care, etcetera.
Principle IV - Responsibility to Society. It means to be accountable to society and conduct ourselves in a manner that fosters and promotes high ethical standards. For example: pursuing continued career-long, professional learning; advocating for and supporting a client's ethical and moral rights; participating in the promotion of the profession of massage therapy through advocacy, research and maintenance of the highest possible standards of practice; being committed to promoting the welfare and well-being of all persons in society; making every reasonable effort to ascertain that our clinical environment will permit provision of care consistent with the values in the Code of Ethics; committing to continuous improvement and implementation of standards of massage practice; collaborating with members of the other health professions to meet the health needs of the public; continuing to develop ways to clarify massage therapist's accountability to society.
In simple words, Massage Therapists are committed to care for each and every one of their clients, adhering to the highest standards in terms of health care, and upholding a noble code ethics and its values. So now you know!
For more information you can visit the CMTO website at cmto.com
I hope you learned a little bit after reading this piece, and that my writing was clear enough to make it easy to read. If you ended up with more questions than answers, please feel free to ask away, email me to email@example.com putting "ARTICLE 2017-0213: Question" as subject, or "ARTICLE 2017-0213: Feedback" if you just want to make a comment or point out errors in the presented information. If you want me to write about a topic in particular please request it with the subject "ARTICLE Topic: Suggestion".
Thank you for reading, see you next week!
Most of the content of this piece has been extracted textually from:
College of Massage Therapist of Ontario. “College of Massage Therapists of Ontario Code of Ethics”, Official website of the CMTO. http://www.cmto.com/assets/Code-of-Ethics.pdf (Consulted on: February, 2017. Link to PDF)