How To Practice “Undefensively” Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are increasingly challenged by the medical complexities our patients present and gripped by the fear of litigation, if patients decline physically under our care. One response to these pressures may be to practice defensive medical speech-language pathology. We propose that best practice is ethically achieved by deliberately ... Article
Article  |   December 01, 2010
How To Practice “Undefensively”
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Paula Leslie
    University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Kate Krival
    Kent State University, Kent, OH
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Older Adults & Aging / Professional Issues & Training / Articles
Article   |   December 01, 2010
How To Practice “Undefensively”
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2010, Vol. 15, 54-64. doi:10.1044/gero15.2.54
SIG 15 Perspectives on Gerontology, December 2010, Vol. 15, 54-64. doi:10.1044/gero15.2.54

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) are increasingly challenged by the medical complexities our patients present and gripped by the fear of litigation, if patients decline physically under our care. One response to these pressures may be to practice defensive medical speech-language pathology. We propose that best practice is ethically achieved by deliberately using specific external and internal resources to practice undefensively. We suggest how consideration of these materials and processes will help SLPs ensure evaluation and clinical decision-making processes are as effective, evidence-based, and transparent to patients, caregivers, administrators, and payers as possible.

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