Title

Ethical considerations for advancing occupational science globally: Starting the dialogue

Location

Soo Line

Start Time

18-10-2014 10:30 AM

End Time

18-10-2014 11:00 AM

Session Type

Theoretical Paper

Abstract

Many occupational scientists who were educated as occupational therapists, especially those who were imbued with principles and practices that developed from Western ways of thinking, have been strongly influenced by individualism and independence, the importance of doing, and a health care ethics that arose from a biomedical model. Occupational scientists have already challenged the legacy of individualism with transactional experience (Dickie, Cutchin & Humphry, 2006) and have argued for an understanding of occupations that extends beyond performance to include knowledge (Hocking, 2009). It is imperative that we explore ethical principles that are consistent with a global vision of occupational science.

This paper will synthesize the occupational science literature that addresses ethical principles and present a set of principles of global ethics. The principles will be examined for their fit with occupational science and with the aims of ISOS regarding international research collaboration and the ‘promotion of occupation for health and community development’ (International Society of Occupational Science, 2009).

Occupational science is moving from its academic and intellectual roots to develop a more inclusive science. The maturation of any science requires a re-examination of values, beliefs, research processes and decisions about where to allocate human and financial resources.

This is a critical step that requires the discipline to determine its stance and to avoid reproducing a global science that promotes discourse that is inadvertently oppressive at intellectual and social levels. Any set of ethical principles being considered should be rigorously debated by occupational scientists worldwide. Hocking (2009) proposed ethical principles for researching occupation that cautioned against developing knowledge that homogenized occupations or set a normative standard for them. She championed the principle of occupational justice and the sustainability of occupations, considering the ecological impacts and the implications of occupations for the common good of societies. The principles of global ethics presented here furthers the dialogue that Hocking began.

The development of a global occupational science offers an opportunity to continue challenging occupational therapy influences and determine their applicability to the science as it develops.

Without an explicit examination of ethical principles that could offer a framework for what ‘ought’ to be done, there exists the potential to revert to personal and/or health care ethics that may not serve the aim of a global occupational science.

Key Words: global ethical principles, interdependence, common good

Relevant Conference Sub-theme: Methodologies to advance the study of social issues

References

References

Dickie, V., Cutchin, M. P., & Humphry, R. (2006). Occupation as transactional experience: A critique of individualism in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 13(1), 83-93.

Hocking, C. (2009). The challenge of occupation: Describing the things people do. Journal of Occupational Science, 26(3), 140-150.

International Society of Occupational Scientists (2009). Retrieved from http://www.isoccsci.org/

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Oct 18th, 10:30 AM Oct 18th, 11:00 AM

Ethical considerations for advancing occupational science globally: Starting the dialogue

Soo Line

Many occupational scientists who were educated as occupational therapists, especially those who were imbued with principles and practices that developed from Western ways of thinking, have been strongly influenced by individualism and independence, the importance of doing, and a health care ethics that arose from a biomedical model. Occupational scientists have already challenged the legacy of individualism with transactional experience (Dickie, Cutchin & Humphry, 2006) and have argued for an understanding of occupations that extends beyond performance to include knowledge (Hocking, 2009). It is imperative that we explore ethical principles that are consistent with a global vision of occupational science.

This paper will synthesize the occupational science literature that addresses ethical principles and present a set of principles of global ethics. The principles will be examined for their fit with occupational science and with the aims of ISOS regarding international research collaboration and the ‘promotion of occupation for health and community development’ (International Society of Occupational Science, 2009).

Occupational science is moving from its academic and intellectual roots to develop a more inclusive science. The maturation of any science requires a re-examination of values, beliefs, research processes and decisions about where to allocate human and financial resources.

This is a critical step that requires the discipline to determine its stance and to avoid reproducing a global science that promotes discourse that is inadvertently oppressive at intellectual and social levels. Any set of ethical principles being considered should be rigorously debated by occupational scientists worldwide. Hocking (2009) proposed ethical principles for researching occupation that cautioned against developing knowledge that homogenized occupations or set a normative standard for them. She championed the principle of occupational justice and the sustainability of occupations, considering the ecological impacts and the implications of occupations for the common good of societies. The principles of global ethics presented here furthers the dialogue that Hocking began.

The development of a global occupational science offers an opportunity to continue challenging occupational therapy influences and determine their applicability to the science as it develops.

Without an explicit examination of ethical principles that could offer a framework for what ‘ought’ to be done, there exists the potential to revert to personal and/or health care ethics that may not serve the aim of a global occupational science.

Key Words: global ethical principles, interdependence, common good

Relevant Conference Sub-theme: Methodologies to advance the study of social issues