The Regulated Health Professions Act (RHPA) along with Schedule 2 to the RHPA, the Health Professions Procedural Code (Code) requires that all health regulatory Colleges in Ontario have measures for preventing and dealing with the sexual abuse of patients/clients and to encourage the reporting of such abuse. Although this provision in the RHPA specifically addresses the prevention of sexual abuse, all Respiratory Therapists should note that any form of abuse (e.g., sexual, verbal, physical, emotional, financial) is not tolerated and would be considered professional misconduct by the College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario (CRTO). This practice guideline will differentiate between sexual abuse and other forms of abuse. A section of this practice guideline will also discuss the effect of the Child and Family Services Act on Respiratory Therapy practice.

This guideline is divided into two primary sections:
  1. Abuse Awareness – understanding the needs of patients/clients who have experienced, or are experiencing, some form of interpersonal violence;
  2. Abuse Prevention – ensuring that RTs do not commit any manner of abuse or harassment, and that they report abuse when it occurs.
    • Professional Conduct – expectations of Respiratory Therapists (RTs) within their therapeutic and professional relationships;
  3. Members’ Responsibilities Regarding Abuse Prevention – reporting obligations,penalties for abuse.