Ethical Issues. Carolyn R. Fallahi, Ph. D. Laws: All U.S. states have laws regulating contact between psychologists and their patients. Prohibiting sexual contact Regulating confidentiality Regulation from the federal government License. Ethical treatment of children.
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Ethical Issues Carolyn R. Fallahi, Ph. D.
Laws: All U.S. states have laws regulating contact between psychologists and their patients. • Prohibiting sexual contact • Regulating confidentiality • Regulation from the federal government • License Ethical treatment of children
Many professional organizations have ethical guidelines and if you are a member of those organizations, you are expected to follow them. • APA Professional organizations
Ethics: a system of morals of a person or group (morals = distinguishing between right and wrong). • Ethical behavior: behavior that conforms to moral or professional standards of conduct. • Ethical standards: laws, rules, or guidelines designed to ensure ethical behavior. • The role of culture. Ethics
Case study 1: The case of a female grade school student. • Case study 2: clinical trials of a new medication. Ethical behavior
In the 1800s, several studies involving institutionalized children. • In 1896, a study was published in which 29 healthy children were each given a spinal tap to see if this could be done safely. • Tuskegee Study • Willowbrook School issue • The movement towards providing ethical interactions with children. Our sad history of doing research on children
Several overriding principles form the foundation for the ethical treatment of those involved in research and therapy. Principles for the ethical treatment of people involved in research or therapy.
Autonomy: an individual’s right to self determination – to act as he/she sees fit if these actions do not infringe on the rights of others. Autonomy
Informed consent: a person or a person’s representative must give informed consent before participating in research or therapy. • Three conditions must be met. Basic Issues: Informed Consent
Is it ethical to provide inducements to get participants in a research study? Inducements
What is required to allow children and adolescents to participate in research? • What if a child doesn’t want to participate? • Is there ever a time when we don’t need IRB approval to conduct research on children? Research
Can children or adolescents participate in therapy without parental permission? • Do we need to get their assent? • Commitment issues with children. • Parham v. J. R. (1979) Therapy
Beneficence: expectation that research and therapy will provide some benefit to those who participate. • Nonmaleficence: expectation that no harm will be done to a participant in research or therapy or that any harm will be minimized. • What if the risks are more than minimal? • In therapy with a family, who receives the benefit? Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
Confidentiality: conversations between a patient and therapist remain confidential – they are not revealed to anyone without the patient’s permission. This is seen as the cornerstone of therapy. • Exceptions: suicide, homicide, child maltreatment (physical/sexual abuse) • Do children have the same rights as adults? Confidentiality
The IRB • Scientists familiar with research • Lawyers Institutional Review Board