Restraints and the code of ethics: An uneasy fit.
- PubMed: 20117684
This article examines the use of physical restraints through the four broad principles of ethics common to all helping professions. It asks whether the continued use of physical restraints is consistent with ethical practice through the lens of those principles. It also examines where the necessity to use restraints in the absence of empirically supported alternatives leaves professionals in terms of conflicts between ethical principles and makes recommendations for changes in education and clinical practice. It concludes that an analysis through a bioethics lens demonstrates that the use of restraints as a tool in psychiatric settings is a complex and multifaceted problem. Principles of ethics may often be in conflict with each other in instances where patients must be physically restrained.