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This came out of another topic and Susan Salvo rightly pointed out that right of refusal is an excellent topic all on it's own.  So, do you have the right to refuse doing a massage when you work for someone else?  If so, under what conditions can you refuse?  This discussion came up because a therapist wasn't comfortable with their knowledge level when a client undergoing chemo arrived for an appointment.  Her employer did not agree with the decision not to do the massage because of the therapist's comfort level. 
My feeling is that you can only refuse if there is a medical or ethical reason for doing so. 

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I feel that the word "discriminate" has taken on a one sided meaning with negative connotations. We discriminate every day. We discriminated between the schools we went to, to be trained, We discriminate between the oils we choose, the modalities we choose to work with, the business setting we work in, the neighborhoods we work and live in and in most areas of our lives.

Discrimination is a part of life and is necessary. It is only when we discriminate for the wrong reasons that it becomes an issue, when we discriminate because of reasons like race or skin color.

When a doctor discriminates, We call him a specialist. We can discriminate based on our specialties and training also. We can also discriminate when the line between therapy and sexuality are crossed, regardless of whether in deed, in word or in implication or suggestion. This protects us, our profession and our clients.

I also discriminate against being called a masseur (or masseuse) - I always correct that I am a "Massage Therapist"

Please use proper discrimination in your practice. We should be responsible for our actions and decisions. I once heard someone say that we should do all that we can and should do and nothing more. Doctors can refuse or refer out clients. Shouldn't we have that same right.
I agree - right of refusal is an important aspect of any professional practice, as long as there is just and reasonable cause.
When we offer our services, we do that....offer our services !! That does not exclude our rights as individuasl to rescind that offer!
Good point, Allan.

Let’s take that thought a step further…

Is massage therapy a service industry or a health care profession?

If it’s both, then do the same rules to apply if your patrons are clients or if they are patients?


Allan J Jones said:
When we offer our services, we do that....offer our services !! That does not exclude our rights as individuasl to rescind that offer!
Very well said!!! and excellent points.

Steven Schwartz said:
I feel that the word "discriminate" has taken on a one sided meaning with negative connotations. We discriminate every day. We discriminated between the schools we went to, to be trained, We discriminate between the oils we choose, the modalities we choose to work with, the business setting we work in, the neighborhoods we work and live in and in most areas of our lives.

Discrimination is a part of life and is necessary. It is only when we discriminate for the wrong reasons that it becomes an issue, when we discriminate because of reasons like race or skin color.

When a doctor discriminates, We call him a specialist. We can discriminate based on our specialties and training also. We can also discriminate when the line between therapy and sexuality are crossed, regardless of whether in deed, in word or in implication or suggestion. This protects us, our profession and our clients.

I also discriminate against being called a masseur (or masseuse) - I always correct that I am a "Massage Therapist"

Please use proper discrimination in your practice. We should be responsible for our actions and decisions. I once heard someone say that we should do all that we can and should do and nothing more. Doctors can refuse or refer out clients. Shouldn't we have that same right.
Is massage therapy a service industry or a health care profession?

Now THAT's a big question, Susan. And it's one that I've been wondering about too - for a long time.
Is it an either/or situation?
Or can it be both?

At the minute I think we're both. So. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? I think there are a lot of pros and cons to that.
Susan, can you elaborate on the question? From a business activity perspective, any healthcare profession is part of the service industry because it's not involved in the extraction of natural resources or production of goods. What do you mean?

Susan G. Salvo said:
Good point, Allan.

Is massage therapy a service industry or a health care profession?

If it’s both, then do the same rules to apply if your patrons are clients or if they are patients?


My feeling is that you can only refuse if there is a medical or ethical reason for doing so.

Isn't it also true that its unethical NOT to refuse to provide treatment (or a particular type of ftreatment) to a client if you feel uncomfortable providing the service for any reason? We learn contraindications for a reason...
Emmanuel,

Let me start again….

Massage therapists have a broad practice spectrum (relaxation/wellness [service industry side of the spectrum] to rehabilitation [health care side of the spectrum]).

I wondered if therapist’s perceptions of “right of refusal” were somehow related to where they saw themselves on that spectrum.

In regards to treatment planning, there are very few absolute contraindications (when massage is postponed). Most of these are related to communicable diseases or medical emergencies.
My husband has been to the emergency room a couple of times lately.The second time the doctor on call gave him a treatment that was administered incorrectly and not followed up by ant pain killers ,even though we waited for the doctor to finish his lunch to ask him for something for pain.He said no to take advil,and I pointed out to him that was a blood thinner and not a good idea for this condition,asked and he refused.Hubby got worse and it would be three more days before we got to see a specialist,so I took him to a different hospital emergency room.The doctor on call got us to a specialist in 20 min.The specialist asked my husband what he was taking for pain,and what kind of antibiotic he was given,He was blown away when he found out he was not on ither one. My point being the first doctor did NOT know what he was doing.I would have loved it if the doctor said I need to talk to another doctor,I am not sure how to proceed or anything rather than causing my husband more harm then help.
I feel if you don't know what you are doing,don't touch! I would rather land up in court for refusing rather then harming.
Peace,Emma
exactly....

Emma Torsey said:
My husband has been to the emergency room a couple of times lately.The second time the doctor on call gave him a treatment that was administered incorrectly and not followed up by ant pain killers ,even though we waited for the doctor to finish his lunch to ask him for something for pain.He said no to take advil,and I pointed out to him that was a blood thinner and not a good idea for this condition,asked and he refused.Hubby got worse and it would be three more days before we got to see a specialist,so I took him to a different hospital emergency room.The doctor on call got us to a specialist in 20 min.The specialist asked my husband what he was taking for pain,and what kind of antibiotic he was given,He was blown away when he found out he was not on ither one. My point being the first doctor did NOT know what he was doing.I would have loved it if the doctor said I need to talk to another doctor,I am not sure how to proceed or anything rather than causing my husband more harm then help.
I feel if you don't know what you are doing,don't touch! I would rather land up in court for refusing rather then harming.
Peace,Emma
I see the right of refusal as a matter of ethical conduct, regardless of setting. It is based on the ability to do good for the client without doing harm (emotional/physical/psychological) to the client or the therapist (or the profession), and that exists throughout the continuum, all the way from the personal care services side to the medical side.



Susan G. Salvo said:
Emmanuel,

Let me start again….

Massage therapists have a broad practice spectrum (relaxation/wellness [service industry side of the spectrum] to rehabilitation [health care side of the spectrum]).

I wondered if therapist’s perceptions of “right of refusal” were somehow related to where they saw themselves on that spectrum.

In regards to treatment planning, there are very few absolute contraindications (when massage is postponed). Most of these are related to communicable diseases or medical emergencies.

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