Ethical Decision Making in Rehabilitation: Consideration of Latino Cultural Factors

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The current Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct of the American Psychological Association (APA, 2002a) places increased emphasis on respect for different cultures. For example, culture has been added as an important factor in respecting the rights and dignity of those with whom psychologists work (Principle E). APA has also released guidelines meant to influence psychologists' sensitivity and behavior toward multicultural issues in various aspects of professional work (APA, 2002b). The purpose of this article is to discuss cultural issues in the context of rehabilitation practice. The authors focus on Latinos, the fastest growing minority group in the United States. The case example of Cesar Garza is used as a vehicle for discussing how to integrate consideration of cultural factors into rehabilitation practice, consistent with sound ethical decision making. The case illustrates missed opportunities, for which the authors offer concrete solutions that reflect appropriate ethical conduct. The authors also hope to demonstrate that integration of cultural issues is consistent with overall rehabilitation psychology practice.

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