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Law ethics and issues of treatment 151 understand

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Law, Ethics, and Issues of Treatment15.1Understand legal, ethical, and professional issues related to thepractice of psychology.15.2Discuss the positive and negative aspects of deinstitutionalization.Many laws regulate common activities such as driving a car, buying and consuming alcohol,voting, and getting married. Other laws strictly prohibit actions such as driving while intoxi-cated, breaking and entering, and assault. Still other laws regulate the practice of various pro-fessions, such as psychology, to protect vulnerable people from unqualified practitioners.In contrast to laws,ethicsare accepted values that provide guidance in makingsound moral judgments (Bersoff, 2003). Groups including families, religions, universi-ties, and professional organizations develop ethics to guide their members’ behaviour.For psychology in Canada, the Canadian Psychological Association’s code of ethicsguides the behaviour of psychologists (Canadian Psychological Association, 2000). As inmany other countries, the Canadian code of ethics contains four principles that shouldbe considered whenever psychologists make decisions concerning ethical issues. Ethicaldecision making can be complex, and the principles may sometimes come into conflictwith one another. The following are the four principles, ordered according to the weighteach should generally play whenever they conflict:1.Respect for the dignity of persons:This emphasizes moral rights and the right to pri-vacy and confidentiality, and should be given the highest weight, except whenthere is a clear and imminent danger to the physical safety of any person, whetherthey be a patient, research participant, student, or some other individual. Oneimportant example of respect for the dignity of persons involves informed con-sent for research studies or experimental treatments. To obtain informed consent,it is important that the participants understand the nature, risks, and benefits ofwhatever experiment or treatment that they are participating in, and that they arefree to give and withdraw their consent at any time.2.Responsible caring:Responsible caring requires that psychologists be competent inwhatever activity that they are conducting (e.g., conducting a diagnostic assess-ment or implementing a given type of treatment). Ethical psychologists know the
abnormal psychology legal and ethical issuesCHAPTER 15539limits of their competence. Responsible caring also requires that psychologicalservices are carried out only in ways that maximize benefit and minimize harm.3.Integrity in relationships:Psychologists are expected to demonstrate the highest integ-rity in all their relationships. This includes values such as being accurate and hon-est in their appraisals. For example, a psychologist might be asked to conduct apsychological assessment of a client who was involved in a work-related accidentresulting in a possible psychological disorder (e.g., posttraumatic stress disorder).

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Term
Spring
Professor
IanNicholson
Tags
Psychiatry, Psychiatric hospital, Deinstitutionalization, Connell Watkins

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