An important value to me is transparency in my reasoning behind why what how and when I do what I do to help MSK concerns. Ethics helps to provide a framework of how I can make my intentions, effectiveness and efficacy known.
Ethics of Chiropractic
Professionalism within chiropractic can be found in the Royal College of Chiropractors and by the individual Chiropractic clinician / researcher. When a group of people profess to be able to provide to society a helpful service, this group can be called a profession. How a profession goes about professing their service to the general public ought to meet certain social norms and help a social need. The individual ethical chiropractor would profess their outcomes in demonstration of their ability to meet an identified social need. When these ethics are developed showing patient welfare is placed first, then public trust can ensue as to the motives behind the professional service(s) of a particular group of people such as Chiropractors. Public trust also comes from knowing the service they will pay for is safe. The General Chiropractic Council have a Duty to protect the public ahead of incidents through development of the profession.
Ethics in Chiropractic (Applied Ethics)
When a chiropractor engages with applied ethics they do not present what they would endorse, rather, they present an examination of basic moral, philosophical and political theories/principles to philosophically explain their way of MSK service delivery. A mixture of philosophical categorisation and analytical reasoning (outcomes) that precedes careful thinking and good decision making can create policies that can be systematically implemented in private or public settings. ‘Ethics in’ precede Evidence.
Ethics for Chiropractic (Advocacy)
The NHS and Local Authority (council) have an obligation to identify social health needs and to provide a service to meet those needs e.g. adequate and accessible MSK services for local people. When a Chiropractor sees themselves as pushing a public health agenda then they would simply champion meeting the identified social need and publish results of their intervention(s) using comparable measures to published NHS outcomes. To enable the customer / consumer / patient / interested party to notice where they’d prefer to be helped. Ethical Chiropractors for Chiropractic would therefore provide Track Records to demonstrate the ongoing benefits of their services in meeting the identified social need.
A little note for all chiropractors that in providing only a Chiropractic perspective and approach to musculoskeletal complaints one may be in danger of disregarding social needs and norms, as well as, fail to comply with Common Law stipulations about patient consent. Arguably, ethical understanding, knowledge and implementation skills should be present in chiropractic education.