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Symposium 14 - Special Interest

Ethical dimensions of physiotherapy practice in Singapore: Current challenges and future considerations

Learning objectives

  1. Create awareness of the relevance of ethics in physiotherapy practice.
  2. Discuss the ethical challenges faced by local physiotherapists in implementing universal ethical principles in local clinical context.
  3. Comprehend the complexity of factors that influence local ethical situations and physiotherapists’ ethical decision-making.
  4. Consider ethical implications of advanced scope physiotherapy
  5. Explore the ethical considerations of incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into rehabilitation

Convenor: Ms Lee Sin Yi, Head of Day Rehabilitation Centre, St. Hilda's Community Services

Biography: Ms Sin Yi has extensive experience working with older adults cross acute, sub-acute and community settings over the last 16 years. Before moving to St Hilda’s in September 2022, she was involved in the designing and implementation of community programs targeting frailty and metabolic syndrome prevention and management, under the Division of Central Health, Tan Tock Seng Hospital. As part of her clinical interests, Sin Yi has also explored ethics in the realm of her clinical practice and incorporated her experiences through her teaching. From 2020 to 2023, she has been an adjunct lecturer of SIT, teaching Year 3 physiotherapy students ethics and professionalism. In addition, in 2023, she introduced SIT postgraduate students to biopsychosocial and ethical issues in geriatric/palliative care under the module of elder person rehabilitation.

Speaker: Dr Audrey Lim, Singapore Institute of Technology

Topic title: Ethical challenges faced by physiotherapists in clinical practice and the contextual factors that influence ethical-decision-making

Biography: Dr Audrey completed her BSc(Hons) Physiotherapy – First Class in 1997 from King’s College, London and obtained her Masters in Sports Physiotherapy from the University of South Australia in 2002. In 2023, she completed her PhD from the University of Melbourne, which focused on the ethical dimensions of physiotherapy practice in Singapore. Audrey entered the teaching profession in 2006 and is currently an academic at the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT). She is also a facilitator for the Healthcare Ethics, Law and Professionalism (Allied Health) course conducted by the Centre of Biomedical Ethics (CBmE), National University of Singapore (NUS) and has presented and published on ethics in physiotherapy practice. Her current research interests are in the areas of ethics and healthcare education.

Speaker: Professor Alan Wong, Singapore Institute of Technology

Topic title: Ethical considerations with expansion of physiotherapy job scope in Singapore – Advanced scope of practice for physiotherapists

Biography: Professor Alan Wong Wai Pong is professor at Singapore Institute of Technology. He has over 34 years of work experience as clinical physiotherapist and academic teacher in allied health and nursing disciplines. His teaching responsibilities include ethics, population health, global health and kinesiology. His PhD examined the role of chest physiotherapy in an animal model of acute respiratory distress syndrome (University of Queensland, 2003) and Master of Public Health was in Clinical Epidemiology specialization (National University of Singapore, 2009). He is currently President, Allied Health Professions Council.

Speaker: Assistant Professor Victor Cole, Singapore Institute of Technology

Topic title: Incorporating AI into physiotherapy practice – Opportunities and ethical challenges

Biography: Dr Victor Cole is an ethicist and communications educator with 25 years’ experience lecturing and researching in Singapore tertiary institutions. He obtained his PhD in Bioethics from Monash University in 2012 and prior to joining Singapore Institute ofTechnology as an Assistant Professor was Programme Director of the NMRC-funded ‘Science, Health and Policy-relevant Ethics’ initiative at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore (NUS), where he led the formation of an international working group on the ethics of artificial intelligence in translational health research. He has published in applied ethics and has taught healthcare ethics to a broad range of professionals (doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists and physiotherapists). He has been a moderator and panellist in a variety of forums and an invited speaker at numerous conferences and events.

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