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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 PSY240.pdf

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Hywel Morgan

Assignment 1 is written in APA format; due next class (attempt it, you will not be deducted for not doing it, but it is recommended) Legal and Clinical Ethical Issues • APA and CPA: guidelines: suggest all psych courses discuss ethical issues ◦ code of ethics: behaviours that you should and should not participate in. • Laws and Ethics are not the same thing but they do interact ◦ Not all ethics are laws and vice versa; most laws are based in ethics. • What is legal? ◦ Laws are a set of rules imposed by society (law makers: elected officials; legislative system government; members of parliament; members of provincial parliament & counsellors. Law enforcers: police; peace officer. Interpreters of law: Lawyers, judges, judicial system) ◦ implications for behaviour: there is clear right and wrong; set of norms; ◦ behaviours that you "MUST" follow. ◦ if these rules are broken; there are consequences; clear for breaking the rules ‣ there are behaviours that you must participate in. ◦ laws can change over time ‣ based on ethical changes • What is Ethical? ◦ significant grey area because there are guidelines ◦ a code of morals ◦ what are morals? ‣ behaviours that we "SHOULD" participate in. • "you should not sleep with your patient" this behaviour is unethical but it is not illegal, because consent has been made in the relationship. ◦ you have an intimate verbal relationship with that person it may turn into something more significant. ‣ relationship could cause transference of the abnormal behaviours. ‣ if you have a sexual relationship with the patient that is considered unethical until after 3 years after the client is no longer your client (APA guideline) ◦ Ethical guidelines: broken; "in the eyes of the profession you have done wrong" ◦ you don't lose your freedom, but your license could be taken away so you lose your livelihood ‣ Hippocratic oath: "do no harm [your client]" • psychological harm: laughing at your client causing shame and embarrassment • once a patient always a patient ◦ ex. a client says "dr i need to talk to you, i have difficulty dealing with my feelings and conscience because i murdered someone..." reporting to the police you are being unethical; you have done the right thing as a citizen but not as a psychologist with a patient. You can lose your licence. you could convince them to report themselves. ‣ Privilege: in the law you should not convey any information about the information that you know because of the special relationship with the patient. • you do not need to bear witness or testify against your client. this is a new legal responsibility that comes with your profession. You are not compelled to give any information. • the police come asking for information you tell them to get a subpoena. ‣ If that patient threatens to hurt you: you have a right to say I don't want to see you anymore; this is considered unethical because it harms the patient. ◦ ex. you are asked to do a mental competency assessment of a patient who is facing a murder trial that if he is guilty they are executed. ‣ if he is competent than he is guilty and killed: what do you do? ‣ the accused is the client: the potential that they are competent to stand trial where they face the death penalty. there is no right or wrong answer. ◦ can you be fired for following your guidelines? yes ◦ Privilege: not just between therapist and their client; attorney-client, spouse, clergy] the law does not require you to testify against these relationships. ‣ spousal privilege and lawyer client privilege is unbreakable; • Legal Issues: ◦ people in social conflict: dysfunctions (behaviours) can lead to social conflict and they could break the law ‣ the laws are designed to prevent social conflict ‣ society says "stop it, other people do not like that" ◦ power of mental health professionals: ‣ privilege ‣ two parties: client may come into conflict with the law and may break them ‣ what can mental health professions do legally or illegally. ◦ ask to assess client a client on trial for murder for competence ‣ Liable for actions: understand what they did and if what they did was wrong • during the committing the crime did they know what they did was wrong? yes or no • if after the assessment the person did not understand that what they did was wrong ◦ the legal system may determine if they were responsible for the crime or not. ◦ Insanity: not guilty; not responsible due to disorder; not criminal; now treated as mental health ◦ it is not the psychiatrist that decide this, it is the judge that finalizes the decision determining the mental health of the client. ◦ Actus reus : "wrong behaviour" ‣ that you competently understand that what you have done you should not have done ‣ you understand what you have done ◦ mens rea: may be declared incompetent to stand trial. ‣ Mens rea and actus reus are legal terms used to define a crime. Both Mens rea and actus reus must be present for an accused to be found guilty of a crime (except for strict liability). Mens rea means that the person must have had a guilty mind at the time of committing the crime - that is they must have intended to commit the crime. ‣ Actus reus means "wrongful act" - meaning that the person must have committed an act that is defined as wrong by law. ‣ [ps, strict liability is a crime where mens rea is not needed - ie by going through a red light, you are committing a crime, regardless of whether you knew you did it or not]. • 3 levels of law ◦ constitutional law; takes precedence over the next two ‣ set of rules dictated by the federal gov that we must live by ‣ not changeable unless all of the provence agree ‣ british north america act. 1984: not everyone liked it; Quebec demanded it be changed
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