Morality for me is strictly linked with my religion. One does not exist without the other. I attended Islamic schools and part of the curriculum included a subject called Tahdhib. Tahdhib deals with morality, it defines the universal standard by which we can deem our actions as either bieng moral or immoral.
The Glorious Quraan States:
“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces Towards east or West; but it is righteousness- to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and practice regular charity; to fulfil the contracts which ye have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the Allah-fearing.” [Al-Qur’an 2:177]
This verse implies that righteousness and piety is based on true and sincere faith, that virtue and good conduct comes from a strong realtion with God. Another principle within Islam is that God sees all, hears all and knows all, it can be said that Islam prescribes moral behaviors and that you could decieve people you cannot decieve God.
In professional practice, Morality plays a huge part in how we run your business and how you treat your patients.
When dealing with patients, treating them as equals is obviously the most moral thing to do, however more often that not many therapists do not do that. It is said that: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” This tells us that judging someone is a very messy affair. I fell that treating each patient equally with respect is the best way to conduct yourself professionally, however when it comes to rapists or murders I find myself slightly conflicted. The moral codes ordained by God state that everyone should be treated equally but I wouldn’t want to treat someone who has taken the life of another. If I were to be placed in such a difficult situation, I can honestly say I wouldn’t know what to do. I would like to believe that I could go ahead and treat the patient but only time will will answer that question.
I don’t think that it is possible to perfectly ethical or moral, most humans are weak and sometimes they falter. We can only strive towards being better and try everyday to stick to the morals and belief we have set up for ourselves.
1. Morality and Ethics In Islam. (2011) Retrieved on the 26th of August 2013, from http://www.whyislam.org/social-values-in-islam/morality-ethics-in-islam/
Confession: When I first read about this course on the SASP page, I thought it would be easy enough to sail through, it has been nearly two weeks since my first post and I have only just completed my first post. It is not that the topics are hard, it is the calibre of writing that has already been done has made me very self aware of what I write and how I put those buzzy thoughts on blog.
My main objective for this course is to stimulate thinking and conversation in what I feel is a very interesting yet misunderstood and unliked aspect of physiotherapy and health care.
My opinion on Empathy is that it is one of the most important tool for all physiotherapists and healthcare professionals. We are tasked daily with treating a patients physical conditions which often is a manifestation or exacerbated by psychological stress placed on the body. The different forms of stress can negatively impact healing and this is something that we have to help them with.
In my experience when a patient comes to me, they come with a lot more than their physical injuries, there’s the anxiety with regards to the injury and long term affects and their frustrations at the limitations it imposes when at work. This is where the physiotherapist should listen and understand the patient’s issues and find a way without using explicit promises to reassure the patient that they will heal in time.
I agree with the article that empathy can’t be thought per se. I believe it can be developed over time by carrying out these simple steps.
1. Listen to your patients story.
2. Let it evoke an emotion, be it anger, sadness, hapiness and then use it that emotion to answer this simple question: If you were in that person’s place how would you want someone to respond to you.
You might not get it right the first time but over time by listening to your patients you can get the insight and empathy needed to help them.
Professional distance is probably the hardest part of this subject to define. I feel that in order to be effective with your patient you do need to know them well. It helps you to know if they are lying about carrying out the home exercise programme or if they are really in pain. To know them, you have to get close but you also have to be professional in your conduct with them. Its hard, but the therapist needs to strike that balance. If you feel that you are getting emotionally close to a patient, never step away or stop treating the patient. I feel that doing that would just cause more harm. Rather try to understand what is causing this sudden closeness and always speak to someone else to gain perspective and then find a solution to the problem. The most important things is the patients treatment, only the best will do.
Now don’t get me wrong, emotion is not a bad thing but when it begins to cloud your judgement or if you feel invested in the situation of a patient, then you’ve stepped over the line.