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Ethical _ Legal Considerations

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					     Ethical & Legal Aspects
Most common forms of unethical behavior:
• Violation of confidentiality
• Exceeding competence
• Negligent practice
• Claiming expertise one does not possess
• Imposing values on the client
• Creating dependency in a client
        Ethical & Legal Aspects
•   Sexual activity with a client
•   Conflicts of interest
•   Dual relationships
•   Questionable financial arrangements
•   Fee gouging
•   Improper advertising
             http://www.cswmft.ohio.gov/
     Ethical & Legal Aspects
          http://www.socialworkers.org/
          http://www.counseling.org/
          http://ocdp.ohio.gov/
Limitations of ethical codes:
• Some issues cannot be resolved
• Enforcing ethical codes can be difficult
• Some issues are not covered in the code
• Not often updated
       Ethical & Legal Aspects
•   Conflicts between ethical & legal codes
•   Do not address cross-cultural issues
•   Do not address every possible situation
•   Often do not help counselors decide what
    to do in new situations
     Ethical & Legal Aspects
Ethical principles:
• Beneficence – doing good
• Nonmaleficence – not inflicting harm
• Autonomy – respecting freedom of choice
  and self-determination
• Justice – acting fairly
• Fidelity – being faithful & honoring
  commitments
     Ethical & Legal Aspects
Other ethical considerations:
• Personal & professional honesty
• Act in best interests of clients
• Not impose personal values on clients
• Be alert to client emergencies
• Act without malice or personal gain
• Decisions must be made upon the current
  state of the profession
      Ethical & Legal Aspects
Specific ethical concerns:
• Workplace pressure – some organizations
  are $$$ driven & don’t act in clients’ best
  interests
• Dual relationships – generally avoided
• Unethical colleagues – estimates of 20%
  of MH professionals are impaired
http://www.cswmft.ohio.gov/pdfs/complaint.p
  df
     Ethical & Legal Aspects
• Landmark cases:
• 1993 – Ramona – false memory syndrome
  http://www.fmsfonline.org/fmsffaq.html
• 1996 – Jaffe vs Redmond – supreme court
  ruled that communications with a licensed
  mh professional are privileged
http://aspe.hhs.gov/datacncl/reports/MHPriv
  acy/exec-summ.htm
      Ethical & Legal Aspects
Tarasoff vs Board of Regents of U of CA:
• Confidentiality is limited – duty to warn
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarasoff_v._Reg
  ents_of_the_University_of_California
     Ethical & Legal Aspects
Exceptions to confidentiality:
• Legal disputes between counselor & ct
• Ct raises issues of mental conditions in
  legal proceedings
• Ct’s condition poses a danger
• Child abuse & neglect
• The ct is contemplating the commission of
  a crime
        Ethical & Legal Aspects
•   Court ordered psychological evaluations
•   Involuntary hospitalization
•   The ct has been a victim of a crime
•   Harm to vulnerable adults
      Ethical & Legal Aspects
• Some terms to remember:
• Liability – determining if the counselor has
  caused harm
• Malpractice – harm to a ct resulting from
  professional negligence
• Negligence – departure from acceptable
  professional standards