American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

Issues in Ethics Statements

From time to time, the Board of Ethics determines that members and certificate holders can benefit from additional analysis and instruction concerning a specific issue of ethical conduct. Issues in Ethics statements are intended to heighten sensitivity and increase awareness. They are illustrative of the Code of Ethics and intended to promote thoughtful consideration of ethical issues. They may assist members and certificate holders in engaging in self-guided ethical decision-making. These statements do not absolutely prohibit or require specific activity. The facts and circumstances surrounding a matter of concern will determine whether the activity is ethical.

Effective March 1, 2010, the ASHA Board of Ethics amended the Code of Ethics in a comprehensive revision. Although the vast majority of Issues in Ethics statements issued by the ASHA Board of Ethics prior to the effective date of the amended Code are substantively unaffected by the amendments or have been modified to reflect the amended Code, there are some that simply no longer provide complete guidance in light of the recent changes. It is critical, therefore, that anyone seeking guidance from an Issues in Ethics statement pay particular attention to the possibility that the Rules or Principles have changed in relevant ways since it was published. Some of the changes are "non-substantive," such as the renumbering of a Rule section. In these circumstances, the Board Issues in Ethics statement remains valid, even though a particular citation to a Rule may no longer be consistent with the current version. The Board urges anyone consulting an Issues in Ethics statement to read it in light of the revised Code of Ethics (2010r).

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