Ethics in Physiotherapy Practice – An African Perspective
Appalling incidences of disabling diseases, its attendant consequences for rehabilitation and the underlying ethical implications in healthcare practice occur daily in Africa. The practice of physiotherapy is often confronted by many moral issues that may not have been duly clarified either during training or years of professional practice. Apart from the shortage of physiotherapists to confront the prevailing rehabilitation needs, physiotherapy practice in Africa presents peculiar ethical concerns given the cultural peculiarities, pervading level of illiteracy and widespread poverty. The struggle to align physiotherapy practice in Africa with global trends however seems to have obliterated the physiotherapists’ focus on the peculiar ethical requirements of most illnesses on a continental basis. Previously, studies investigating ethical issues in physiotherapy practice have been tailored to the Western culture though cultural beliefs and values are crucial to the planning and implementation of healthcare services. There is hence the need to present ethics guiding the practice of physiotherapy in the cultural, societal, regional and geographical contexts. In a resource poor society where patients may not be fully aware of their rights, patients’ rights and dignity may be advertently or inadvertently violated. This chapter is therefore aimed at presenting the African perspectives on ethical concerns in physiotherapy practice.
KeywordsRehabilitation Physiotherapy practice Ethics African culture
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