Saturday, March 2, 2024

Ethics was: RE: your post(helix)

Anderson Harold R.

Some very good points are made. Ralph also makes a good point that

substantiation of orthotic (prosthetic?) outcomes is long overdue for this


If, in fact, this group has made inroads in this area, I welcome it and

would like to see it offered for peer review. If, as it appears, this group

is keeping this information to themselves so only they can benefit

financially or otherwise from it, I can only assume that the information on

the website is pure marketing.

I’m disturbed by the number of so-called professionals in our field who

decide to patent a process, concept, trimline, which should be within the

realm of what we do as orthotists (prosthetists?). We don’t do anything

about it, then we complain because DOC (an outsider?) does that very thing

with the plagiocephaly helmets. I see this as being a much bigger potential

threat to our profession than Hanger. Whatever happened to individuals in

the profession researching and developing an idea – then publishing it in

our national publications? Suppose that John Glancy patented all of his

ideas or the Bidwells patented the Milwaukee Brace or whoever first got the

idea of making orthoses out of thermoplastic patented the process? I

suspect that every one of us in this profession (O&P) have designed

something unique, discovered a new technique, or even have a great idea that

we’d like to try but haven’t the opportunity, yet to do so. I also

suspect (personal experience;-) that the vast majority of those ideas have

been thought of before, done before, or are being done somewhere and we just

haven’t heard of it yet. We have a choice – to do nothing about the idea,

to develop the idea and share it with our peers, or to try to _directly_

profit from the idea by patenting it or keeping it secret so that everyone

else has to buy it from us. By patenting an idea or making it secret, we

are throwing walls up in our profession. But we (I assume this goes for

most on this list) live in a free society where it is legal for individuals

to patent processes and keep secrets. So we have to learn to live with it.

I don’t have any great answers but I suspect that (in the US at least) the

Academy could take a stand on the issue and work to come up with ways to

encourage or entice practitioners to share ideas with their peers so that

all O&P patients/clients can benefit from great new(or renewed) innovations.

Harold Anderson, CO

> —–Original Message—–


> This entire subject is about O&P ethics, which has nothing to do with

> whether these people made you a good brace. (orthosis)


> Bob McCulloch




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