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Code of Ethics

Purpose

The Code of Ethics outlines the expectations for ethical massage therapy practice.

When faced with an ethical dilemma, RMTs are responsible for exercising their professional judgement in accordance with their duties under this code.

Definitions

1. In this code:

“conflict of interest” means a situation where:

  1. an RMT’s personal interest, or
  2. the interests of any person that is related to or closely associated with an RMT,

may affect or influence, or reasonably be perceived to affect or influence, an RMT’s clinical treatment of a patient;

“former patient” means a patient whose therapeutic relationship with an RMT was terminated;

“sexual misconduct” means:

  1. sexual intercourse or other forms of physical sexual relations between an RMT and a patient,
  2. touching, of a sexual nature, of a patient by an RMT,
  3. behaviour or remarks of a sexual nature by an RMT towards a patient, or
  4. sexualizing the treatment environment,

but does not include touching, behaviour and remarks by an RMT to a patient that are of a clinical nature appropriate to the massage therapy service being provided.

Duty to Patients

General Duties

2. RMTs must act in the best interest of the patient.

3. RMTs must recognize and disclose any conflicts of interest that may arise in the therapeutic relationship and resolve them in the patient’s best interest.

4. RMTs must treat the patient with respect and uphold the patient’s dignity.

5. RMTs must not facilitate or engage in fraudulent billing activities.

Treatment

6. RMTs must be aware of and comply with human rights legislation when determining whether to accept new patients and in the treatment of current patients.

7. RMTs must not recommend therapeutic services that do not have a reasonable benefit for the patient.

8. RMTs must provide complete and accurate information to enable the patient to make an informed decision regarding the need for, and nature of, therapeutic services. This includes answering any questions that the patient may have, in an understandable manner.

9. RMTs must obtain informed consent for therapeutic services.

10. RMTs must maintain a safe and healthy treatment environment.

11. RMTs must not claim that a treatment, or use of certain equipment, will provide a cure, and must not guarantee therapeutic value to a patient. 

Competency

12. RMTs must practice competently and within the limits of their knowledge and skills.

13. RMTs are responsible for continuing to develop their own level of competence.

14. RMTs are responsible for recognizing their personal and practice limitations.

15. RMTs must not practice massage therapy while their ability is impaired by alcohol or drugs.

16. RMTs must request consultation or refer a patient to colleagues or other health care professionals when such actions are in the best interest of the patient.

Privacy and Confidentiality

17. RMTs must be aware of and comply with all applicable laws regarding the collection, use, disclosure and access to patients’ personal information.

18. RMTs must avoid public discussions or comments about a patient that could reasonably be seen as revealing confidential information, except with the patient’s consent. 

Boundaries

19. RMTs must set and maintain appropriate professional boundaries with a patient.

20. RMTs must refrain from taking advantage of a patient for the RMT’s own personal, sexual, emotional, social, political, or financial interest or benefit.

21. RMTs must not engage in sexual misconduct with a patient.

22. An RMT must refrain from entering into a close personal relationship with a former patient unless:

  1. a reasonable period of time has elapsed since the therapeutic relationship with the former patient was terminated, and
  2. the RMT is reasonably satisfied that the power differential inherent in a therapeutic relationship no longer exists.

Terminating the Therapeutic Relationship

23. RMTs must continue to treat patients until:

  1. therapy is no longer indicated or wanted,
  2. another health care professional has assumed primary care responsibility, or
  3. written notice of the intended termination has been provided to the patient.

24. Despite section 23(iii), an RMT may immediately terminate the therapeutic relationship with any patient that:

  1. sexualizes or attempts to sexualize the treatment or environment, or
  2. threatens the RMT or otherwise endangers the RMT.

Duty to Society

25. RMTs must comply with all applicable laws and regulations relating to the practice of massage therapy.

26. RMTs must use public and private healthcare resources prudently in the care of patients.

Duty to the Profession

27. RMTs must recognize that professional self-regulation is a privilege that each RMT has a continuing responsibility to merit by upholding the honour, dignity and credibility of the profession.

28. RMTs must respond to any inquiries, requests and directions from the College in a professional, responsive and timely manner.

29. RMTs must conduct themselves in a manner as to merit the respect of society for the profession, RMTs, and other health care professionals.

30. RMTs must collaborate with other health care professionals when appropriate.

31. RMTs must participate in peer reviews and mentorships when required.

Duty to Oneself

32. RMTs must protect and maintain personal and professional integrity.

33. RMTs must maintain personal health and well-being.

34. RMTs must seek assistance from qualified professionals for personal problems that may adversely impact the duties to patients, society or the profession.

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