Week 3 – Discussion
Privileged communication is a legal concept that prohibits the disclosure of confidential communications, while referring to confidentiality as the ethical responsibility of professionals to safeguard clients from unauthorized disclosures. This is one example of an important distinction that spans the legalities and ethical nature of professional practice. An understanding of these distinctions is not only characteristic of a responsible professional but is also vital to the provision of ethically and legally accountable services in clients’ best interests.
Discuss the differences between confidentiality, privacy, and privileged communication, as well as the differences between the duty to warn and duty to protect. What would you think is the most important aspect of confidentiality as it relates to your profession?
Present a scenario in which you discuss some of your ideas in simple and clear language, as though you were having an actual discussion with a colleague who was in training. Then, discuss situations in which it is legally required that you breach confidentiality. Your initial post should be at least 300 words in length.
Resources for the assignment
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 student 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__BN41814_FI
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