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An Exploration of Ethical Decision Making and Boundaries in Health Care Interpreting

Ethical decision making and maintaining professional boundaries can be challenging in any interpreting work, regardless of the language pairs with which you work. Place our work in a health care setting, and challenges multiply. Pressure from lawsuits, changing regulations and risk management is causing health systems to require interpreters demonstrate competence to work in medical settings and to conduct ourselves is a professional manner. What, besides our moral compass, guides our professional ethical behavior in this rapidly changing environment?

During this session, we will compare how ethical decision making and professional boundaries are identified in these studies. Additionally we will look at these concepts in light of professional codes of ethics for sign language and spoken language interpreters. Finally we will continue our collective exploration of these findings through group case study analysis.


Richard Laurion, M.A., CI & CT, NIC Advanced, Director of Programs and Operations,
CATIE Center, St. Catherine University.

Paula Gajewski Mickelson, M.A., CI & CT, NIC: Advanced, Professor and Department Chair,
ASL & Interpreting Department, St. Catherine University.


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