Cox, Plavnick, and Brodhead (2020, “A Proposed Process for Risk Mitigation During the COVID-19 Pandemic”) published a position statement in the emergency section of Behavior Analysis in Practice in response to the COVID-19 crisis. They argued against a blanket interpretation that in-person applied behavior analysis services for all patients should continue during the pandemic. They strongly argued that the risks of continued services are almost always prohibitive and that only in rare cases would the continuation of in-person services be warranted. Colombo, Wallace, and Taylor (2020, “An Essential Service Decisions Model for Applied Behavior Analytic Providers During Crisis”) soon thereafter published a response to the article pointing out the potential dangers associated with the position of the article by Cox et al. They included a detailed decision model to assist providers in making nuanced and informed data-based decisions that provide the opportunity to honor the ethical responsibility for not abandoning patients. We echo the importance of the Colombo et al. response and add points of response centered on balanced ethical decision making informed by compassionate family-centered care.
The Role of Compassion and Ethics in Decision Making Regarding Access to Applied Behavior Analysis Services During the COVID-19 Crisis: A Response to Cox, Plavnick, and Brodhead