Conflict of Interest

Respiratory Therapists (RTs) must prevent, avoid, and where it is impossible to prevent or avoid, manage any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest.

Performance Requirements


Identify and avoid participating in what a reasonable person would conclude involves an actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest. Conflict of interest situations can include but are not limited to

  1. providing benefits to another person or receiving any benefits for the purpose of inducing a patient/client referral; referrals must be based on patient/client need,
  2. influencing patients’/clients’ choice of service options and/or providers for personal gain, and
  3. providing care to individuals with whom he/she has a personal relationship (e.g., family members).
In circumstances where the conflict of interest cannot be avoided, (e.g., rural communities, specialized practice), manage the conflict by full disclosure to patients/clients and others, and ensures discussion and management strategies are documented.
Inform patients/clients of the option of selecting an alternate service provider or product (and, where one exists, provide the name of at least one comparable service provider or product) and assure patients/clients that the service, products or health care provided will not be adversely affected by their selection of an alternate supplier or product.
Adhere to the CRTO Conflict of Interest regulation

Patient / Client Expected Outcome

Patients/clients can expect that RTs put the patient/client interest first and any actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest are avoided, and if required are addressed.


Conflicts of interest refer to “when an RT is in a position where his/her duty to their patient/client could be compromised or could be perceived to be compromised, by a personal relationship of benefit. A conflict of interest may be actual, potential, or perceived.”[1]

Patient/client refers to individuals and their families requiring care or services. This may also include his/her substitute decision-maker or guardian.[2]

Reasonable person refers to “a hypothetical person in society who exercises average care, skill, and judgment in conduct and who serves as a comparative standard for determining liability,”[3] or “an individual who is neutral and informed.”[4]


  1. College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2014). Conflict of Interest. Clinical Practice Guideline. Available at:
  2. Adapted from College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  3. The Free Dictionary. (2017). Online Dictionary. Available at:
  4. College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2014). Conflict of Interest. Clinical Practice Guideline. Available at: