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Motion #2-Social Justice

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Motion #2-Social Justice

  • I will try to answer some concerns and make my own statement about social justice.

    Enforcement: What you have to understand is that you can disagree with any principle.  And verbalize that opinion.  Discussion is a good thing as long as it is civil.  No one can be found guilty of an ethics violation for non- support.  An example would be if a supreme- court justice that disagrees with a portion of the constitution and votes their conscience, can-not be disciplined because they are a member of the highest court.  A person that is of not the highest rank that votes their conscience should not be prosecuted. And should not be harassed for their objection. Furthermore, a person for just cause can disobey a rule if that rule is unethical or illegal. And ethically should report their reason for objecting to the order.

    Application:  Now having said that I want to address the comments regarding to Principle # 4.  If you are looking for examples of application of this principle, I advise you to refer to the advisory opinion entitled “Social Justice and Meeting the Needs of Clients” . the link is as follows http://www.aota.org/Practitioners/Ethics/Advisory/Social-Justice.aspx.  It states “…the importance of ensuring access to care to all persons in need of it” means that every one has equal opportunity to receive care and not at the expense of other people.  Attaching other meaning to this does not meet the intention of the original motion.   In my opinion that is the crux of this debate.  Equal access to medical services is more than political rhetoric, and ideology.  The advisory opinion gives examples of what is meant by “equal access”.  Equal access, meaning equal opportunity, has a deep resonance within the American culture.  In part, it articulates for medical care one of our guiding ideals of justice, the principle of equal opportunity.  This concept has a long tradition in our profession beginning with Adolf Meyer and moral treatment.  If you were to google Adolf Meyer or moral treatment it takes you to occupational therapy and the history of occupational therapy.  Social justice is embedded into our official documents – for example the philosophy, the statement on discrimination and the Practice Framework. To practice social justice one reaches a moral level.  It is a higher level where good people do good things that is determined by the culture they live in.  And to do what is moral is ethical and to do social justice is to do the ethical thing.  It guides practice. 

    Definition:  Principle # 4 was put out onto the Internet for feedback from the membership prior to the motion that was over whelming past in the representative assembly.  There was no response.  We did not have feedback from the membership and assumed that there would not be the opposition that we have now.   It seems to me that there is another way to handle controversy than to raise contentious arguments based on fear, misinformation, threats and politicizing causing polarization.  If one is hung up on the word “distribution”, this principle is not talking about taking medical care from one and giving it to another.  That kind of rhetoric is fear spreading.  That is simply not who we are.  Granted not everyone gets the same medical care – that is the nature of giving health care.  Distribution in this context means that everyone has the opportunity to receive medical care.  And that people have a right to needed health care to maintain their normal functioning.  “People have a right to needed health care to provide an opportunity for a level of health equal as far as possible to the health of other people” (Gutman,A).  It does not mean “redistribution” of wealth.  No where in Principle # 4 or the Advisory Opinion does it use the word wealth. 

    We need to remember; our profession defines what social justice  is 

  • Thank you for that very clear explanation and caution to all on their behavior in a professional dialogue.

  • The statement that people have a right to healthcare is an opinion and not one that I hold. 

    Principle 4 does not mention 'wealth', but clearly indicates 'resources'.  We can argue this forever, but in my opinion, resources translates to money/wealth.  Think about universal health coverage. WHO is going to pay for the uninsured's insurance?  Or look at Brent's article about AIDS patients. Where does the money come from for those services?

    Like I've said, transference of money to pay for access and/or resources is not new.  What bothers me is who, how and why my money is distributed.  Since, I've been indirectly accused of worrying about taking a few dollars out of my pockets, let me defend myself.

    Honesty, I give a significant portion of my income/resources to various social causes such as pregnancy crisis centers, homeless needs, missions outreach, Gideons, disaster recovery, children's needs and the general welfare needs of the local community.  I am very unworried about taking money/resources out of my pocket to help others. But, I vehemently oppose the Government determining the use of my money for in the name of social justice.  For example, I loath abortion but am forced to support the murder of babies through tax-supported Planned Parenthood.    I believe social justice will be used to continuing expanding the agenda of "progressives" including such things as gay "rights".  Again, if someone wants to support such social issues, good for them. But those NOT supporting such liberal ideologies should not be required under penalty of law to do the same.  Supporting the needs of less fortunate people is an individual mandate, not one afforded to the Government. 

    Thanks,

    Ron

    Ron Carson MHS, OT

  • Ron,

    Just one clarifying question. I would like to be sure I am understanding you.

    I have copied the entire last paragraph of your post, but if more of your post needs to be considered to assure your intended meaning please let us know. I have advocated that taking one sentence out of context can change the meaning or not fully represent an intended communication, so I want to respect the full context of your post.

    You note, "I believe social justice will be used to continuing expanding the agenda of "progressives" including such things as gay "rights".  Again, if someone wants to support such social issues, good for them. But those NOT supporting such liberal ideologies should not be required under penalty of law to do the same.  Supporting the needs of less fortunate people is an individual mandate, not one afforded to the Government."

    My question is: Are you advocating that within services or rights that are supposedly guaranteed to all by current laws or regulations that is acceptable to discriminate against persons on the basis of sexual orientation?

    I ask because you placed "rights" in parentheses. If my inference is incorrect please correct me. I believe I understand that you do not want the Government to pay for some services, but as long as they are funded by acts of Congress, is it acceptable to exclude someone because of sexual orientation?

    Brent

    Brent Braveman, PhD., OTR/L, FAOTA

     

  • My statement about people having the right to healthcare is a belief not an opinion.  My belief system comes from 4 things – experience, tradition/culture, reason, and sacred text (and that is from a variety of sources not just one).  We are not debating the health care law, we are here to debate Principle # 4.  And that should be the focus of this debate. To take the word “resource” out of the Principle and take it out of context in which it is intended is diverting the discussion that is not germane to the debate.   Every one is entitled to their own beliefs.  I ask that comments be kept in the context of social justice in occupational therapy and once a point has been made that it be left to the reader to make their own judgment.    

     I also, do philanthropic activities through time, talent, and treasure.  My philanthropic activities are based not on need alone but services that are congruent with my belief system.  OTPAC gives to members of our government not on the basis of party affiliation, but on issues that are congruent with our belief system, which I assume, the members of our profession hold.

     I am not in direct practice, but in my conversations with other therapists I have learned that they are faced with moral dilemmas quite often that are social justice related.  Those dilemmas should be discussed with their colleagues and with their elected AOTA officials.  Sometimes a therapist will treat an individual and then try and find the right code to use for the purpose of reimbursement and can’t find any.  I am told that it goes unpaid because, I believe, have the moral attitude to do what is right - that every one should have equal opportunity to receive occupational therapy.  

     

    Thank you for your attention  

  • Do we really want to start that debate, here?

    On 03/03/2011 08:40 AM, Brent Braveman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA wrote:

    I ask because you placed "rights" in parentheses. If my inference is incorrect please correct me. I believe I understand that you do not want the Government to pay for some services, but as long as they are funded by acts of Congress, is it acceptable to exclude someone because of sexual orientation?

    Brent

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    Ron Carson MHS, OT

  • I plan no debate on your position. I am simply asking you to clarify if I am understanding it correctly.

    From your post I infer that you are advocating in this forum that it is acceptable to exclude persons from protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation is acceptable.

    Our Association has a policy that states, "The Association shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual
    orientation, age, disability, or other basis proscribed by applicable law."

    So I won't debate your position, but am asking that since you included your comment in this public forum that you address my Question which was:

    "I believe I understand that you do not want the Government to pay for some services, but as long as they are funded by acts of Congress, is it acceptable to exclude someone because of sexual orientation?"

    I will not counter your answer with my own beliefs..............

    Brent Braveman, PhD., OTR/L, FAOTA

     

  • You may not, but others might. Start an new thread if you want and I'll consider participation.

    On 03/03/2011 01:18 PM, Brent Braveman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA wrote:

    I plan no debate on your position. I am simply asking you to clarify if I am understanding it correctly.

    From your post I infer that you are advocating in this forum that it is acceptable to exclude persons from protection from discrimination based on sexual orientation is acceptable.

    Our Association has a policy that states, "The Association shall not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual
    orientation, age, disability, or other basis proscribed by applicable law."

    So I won't debate your position, but am asking that since you included your comment in this public forum that you address my Question which was:

    "I believe I understand that you do not want the Government to pay for some services, but as long as they are funded by acts of Congress, is it acceptable to exclude someone because of sexual orientation?"

    I will not counter your answer with my own beliefs..............

    From: Ron Carson MHS, OT <bounce-roncarson@aota.org>
    Sent: 3/3/2011 1:03:08 PM

    Do we really want to start that debate, here?

    On 03/03/2011 08:40 AM, Brent Braveman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA wrote:

    I ask because you placed "rights" in parentheses. If my inference is incorrect please correct me. I believe I understand that you do not want the Government to pay for some services, but as long as they are funded by acts of Congress, is it acceptable to exclude someone because of sexual orientation?

    Brent

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    Ron Carson MHS, OT

  • I will just leave it at that and participants in the forum will each have to draw our own conclusion.

    Brent Braveman

    Brent Braveman, PhD., OTR/L, FAOTA

     

  • Is anyone able to point me to an online source for the code of ethics BEFORE the recent revisions adding social justice?  Or maybe someone has an electronic copy they can post.
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    Ron Carson MHS, OT

  • The code of ethics is on the AOTA website.  If you are a member you can view the current code of standards.  Put into the search Ethics standards and it will take you there.  It is a large document so you will have to find what you are looking for.  

  • I think AJOT started its online version in 2011 but AJOT's print version, November/December 2005 Volume 59/Number 6 has the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (2005; revised ethics document) and Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (2005)

    AJOT November/December 2006 Volume 60/Number 6 has Guidelines to the Code of Ethics.

    AJOT November/December 2007 Volume 61/Number 6 has Enforcement Procedures for the Occupational Therapy Code of Ethics (edited 2007)

    I'm not sure if AJOT electronically archived issues prior to this year's. 

     

     

  • Rudy, thank you very much.  I didn't even think about the On-line version of AJOT. I did find the code there!!

    Thanks again,

    Ron

    Ron Carson MHS, OT

  • Yes, if any member of our Association rejects the notion that all persons are born with and deserve the same rights of access to the benefits of society as any other despite race, religion, gender, ethnicity, age OR sexual orientation, they do not embrace the values of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

    The notion that millions of members of our society can be oppressed and the victims of discrimination because of sexual orientation ABSOULUTELY should be debated!

  • Hi Ron,

    I am an OT student at USC and we are forced to join AOTA there. If I were not forced I would have never joined. I was shocked to see that the code of ethics requires members to advocate for distributive justice.

             Distributive justice is a particularly leftwing conception of justice that requires the government to take from the productive to give to the unproductive. I find it incredibly immoral. I of course will not advocate for it and in fact will advocate against it.  If the pro-distributive justice people want other people to have whatever it is they want them to have, then they should give it to them. No one is forcing them to indulge in luxuries like cars and cell phones with internet rather than giving that money to the poor or sick or needy. But once you take sometime to get to know the people who are for distributive justice you soon see that they are really for other people - not them -  having their luxuries taken (or the money they would use for those luxuries, which is the same thing) to give to the poor but not them. It's always other people who are greedy- not them. They can travel the world, have fancy cars and clothes, go to a fancy school,  but when some like me fights against higher taxes and against welfare we are the greedy ones. 

         I write to gauge your sense of the chances of repealing this part of AOTA's code of ethics though a motion. Do you know of other OTs who are against it?

    Sincerely,

    Alex