Volume 16, Issue 2, Fall 2002
The Ontology of Sports Injuries
Professional Ethics of Sports Medicine
Disclosing the ontology of sports injuries by looking closer at their meaning provides us with insight into the professional ethics of the sports medicine specialist. The aim of this article is twofold: to disclose the “the ontology of sports injuries,” and to use the disclosure as an insightful perspective for dwelling on the ethics of sports medicine. Because of the unique nature of sports, the standard ethical prescriptions usually associated with medical ethics are of little use for the sports medicine specialist in treating sport injuries. In spelling out the special ethical context of sports medicine, this paper suggests several distinctions. I propose several models, which provide different conceptions of what constitutes a sport injury: (1) The Medical Model; (2) The Normative Model; (3) The Liberal Model; (4) The Phenomenological Model. The implications of each of these models for sports medicine is assessed, and through them the concept of a sports injury is clarified in a way that can assist us in inferring what is to be done from an ethical point of view.