Issues in complementary and alternative medicine
Issues in complementary and alternative medicine

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Issues in complementary and alternative medicine

3.18 Key ethical issues for CAM practitioners: maintain professional boundaries

All practitioners have a duty to create and maintain safe boundaries, irrespective of their therapeutic orientation, training or individual way of practising. The therapeutic relationship is based on trust and practitioners must never exploit users for their own ends. Practitioners should be aware that they may be working with users who have difficulty respecting boundaries, whether emotional, sexual or financial. Practitioners also need to be very clear about making their own boundaries explicit. While CAM practitioners are not necessarily more likely to abuse than any other health professionals, the context in which CAM is often delivered may increase the potential for abuse. Practitioners who work from home or see people in their houses should be particularly sensitive to this issue, and take whatever precautions are necessary to avoid any possible misunderstandings that might lead to an allegation of professional abuse.

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