resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
November, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 11
Hospice Massage: Ethical Considerations
By Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR
As a massage therapist, like other health care professionals, you are expected to adopt and uphold standards of practice that serve as "guiding principles" in scope of practice, client relationships, clinical decisions, and business practices.If you choose to work in hospice you enter a complex field of service that exposes you to ethical issues and dilemmas unique to end-of-life care. Of course, the standards of practice for massage therapy apply, but you will also need to be familiar with the ethical principles and guidelines found in hospice care to have a foundation from which to act. Some principles act as guidelines but many are highly individual, steeped in your own personal moral compass, providing a touchstone in situations where you search for the "right thing to do".
As massage therapy takes its rightful place in hospice care it is possible, if not likely, that you will be exposed to some ethical dilemmas of modern-day health care. Medical treatments and technology have changed the way we die in our culture. For many patients, their families as well as the professional caregiver, the experience becomes laden with conflict and moral choice.
Dr. Richard Fife,3 an ethicist, states: "In hospice care, staff members are constantly faced with the possibilities and realities of ethical dilemmas." He reports findings from a two-year study of ethical dilemmas faced by hospice staff. Some of the most common issues included:
Granted, as a massage therapist, you may not directly be involved in resolving these issues. But it's possible that you may be exposed to them. By anticipating these issues you will be more prepared and resilient when they do come up.
I will compare one area of standards of practice--the roles and boundaries as put forth by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork6 and related ethical principle from the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO)2 and how they impact day-to-day activities of providing massage services in hospice care.
Roles, Boundaries & Principle
Roles and boundaries: Adhere to ethical boundaries and perform the professional roles designed to protect both the client and the practitioner, and safeguard the therapeutic value of the relationship.
Related principle: Provide patients and their families with the highest possible level of quality end-of-life care and services, while maintaining professional boundaries that respect their rights and privacy.
Considerations for the massage therapist:
Case example: I know of a massage therapist, "Kim", who was working as an independent contractor for a local hospice organization. She was asked by the hospice nurse to see a woman with advanced Parkinson's disease. The massage therapist saw the patient for weekly sessions. I learned that Kim had, in addition, been hired by the family as a personal care attendant and was essentially "on-call" to run errands, drive the patient to doctor's appointments and stay with her in the home when the family needed to be away. Kim complained to me that the hospice had let her go because they saw her actions as inappropriate. She also complained that the family was calling on her more and more and hadn't paid her in some time. She stated that she couldn't bring herself to discontinue her service because the patient "needs me so much".
Reflection question: What is the ethical dilemma here? What would have been an appropriate course of action for Kim?
Anyone who chooses to serve those in hospice care recognizes that it is a privilege to do this profound work. Caring for the dying through the medium of touch can be an experience that forever alters your worldview of death and dying. You will be forced to examine your thoughts, feelings and behavior in this profoundly personal, yet professional work. By accepting the responsibility to explore the personal nature and impact of end-of-life care you will be more equipped to uphold the highest ethical standards of your professional role.
Click here for more information about Ann Catlin, LMT, NCTMB, OTR.
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