Ethics in Sports
How can you, as a health care professional balance the needs of the sports team or organisation that is paying your bills, the athlete’s (your patient’s) desire to perform while in pain and with injury; and the economic consequences of playing/not playing for both the athlete and the team/organisation?
This comprehensive course examines some of the difficult legal and ethical issues, the potential consequences surrounding the decisions sports medicine practitioners have to make in this age of professional sport.
- confidentiality aspects of disclosure such as injury, use of drugs, alcohol or psychological issues that may impact player’s performance;
- the ethical implications of performance enhancing drugs; and
- playing or competing with an infectious disease.
There are many ethical dilemmas that are unique to sports medicine because of the unusual clinical environment of caring for players within the context of a team whose primary objective is to win. Sports doctors and health care providers are frequently under intense pressure, whether implicit or explicit, from management, coaches, trainers and agents, to improve the performance of the athlete in the short term rather than consider the long-term sequelae of such decisions. In this course, a number of ethical principles and how they relate to sports medicine are discussed. A list of guidelines has been drawn up to offer some support to doctors and health care providers facing an ethical dilemma, the most important of which is ‘do not hand over your responsibility to the individual player.