Ethical Practice and Legislation
Clients must be assured that all aspects of their communication with any professional regarding themselves or their family members will be held in the strictest confidence. Clients who cannot trust professionals to treat information as confidential may withhold information that is important to investigation, assessment, and treatment. When professionals disregard the privacy of their clients, the clients are injured in obvious and/or subtle ways. A professional code of ethics provides guidance here. Codes of ethics fulfill three major objectives: to educate professionals about sound ethical conduct, to provide a mechanism for professional accountability, and to be a catalyst for improving practice. In this way, they provide a foundation for professional competency and integrity.
In a 1,050- to 1,400-word (or 3- to 4-page) paper (excluding references and title page), discuss how your professional ethics code fulfills these objectives. As ethical issues are also influenced by legislation, discuss how you believe legislation could likewise contribute to the fulfillment of these objectives. Discuss the most significant ways that you believe legislation and ethical codes can affect your future professional practice. To support your ideas, cite one or more landmark court cases from our readings addressing responsible ethical and legal professional practice, and discuss implications for ethical and responsible practice. This paper should reflect an integration of your knowledge of ethical practice, ethical codes, and legislative influences on professional practice. In addition to the required readings, cite at least two scholarly references.
Introduction: Informed Consent and Legal Issues
Week 3 addresses ethical and legal issues in tandem, as they are encountered in tandem in professional practice. Readings address client rights, informed consent, confidentiality, privileged communication, public communication, and related professional responsibilities. Discussion Forum assignments will prompt students to evaluate informed-consent issues and processes as well as complex issues that can arise related to confidentiality. The week closes with a written assignment challenging students to integrate knowledge of ethical practice and codes with an understanding of the ways that legislation influences professional practice to draw conclusions about ethical and responsible professional practice.
Annas, G. J. (2006, September 28). Hunger strikes at Guantanamo — Medical ethics and human rights in a “legal black hole.” New England Journal of Medicine, 355(13), 1377-1382.
Bokhari, M., Saadan, R., Pilus, A. M., Hassan, S. N. S., Jano, Z., Ishak, N. M., & Mahmud, Z. (2014, July 24). Contribution of awareness and understanding in legal and ethics towards the practice of confidentiality amongst counselors [PDF file]. Asian Social Science, 10(16), 144-151. https://doi.org/10.5539/ass.v10n16p144 (Links to an external site.)
Gaumnitz, B. R., & Lere, J. C. (2002, January). Contents of codes of ethics of professional business organizations in the United States. Journal of Business Ethics, 35(1), 35-49.
Joy, P., & McMunigal, K. C. (2017, Winter). When does monitoring defendants and their lawyers cross the line? [PDF file]. Criminal Justice, 31(4), 46-51. Retrieved from https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/criminal_justice_magazine/v31/CJ_v031n04_McMUNIGAL.authcheckdam.pdf (Links to an external site.)
American Psychological Association. (2017). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, Including 2010 and 2016 Amendments [Web page]. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/ (Links to an external site.)
University of the Rockies. (2016). Institutional Review Board (IRB) Handbook [PDF file]. Retrieved from http://wac.6fdc.edgecastcdn.net/006FDC/UOR/PDF/IRB_Handbook_2014_2015__BN41
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