Legal and Ethical Issues

What would you do if your family was starving and you could discretely steal a loaf of bread to feed them? This is a legal and ethical dilemma. As you saw in the Learning Resources this week, legal and ethical dilemmas do occur in diagnosis and assessment, and they are intimately related; however, they do not always rest comfortably together. Although there may not always be clear answers to ethical and legal dilemmas, your ability to address them is a key factor in providing clients with the best possible care.

To prepare:

Review this week’s Learning Resources.

Focus on the APA ethics codes and the AP-LS specialty guidelines for forensic psychologists’.

Go to your state website and review its legal and ethical guidelines.

Consider any legal guidelines that may be in conflict with the ethical guidelines.

If you noted differences between legal, ethical, and specialty guidelines, think about how would you reconcile them.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 3 your thoughts about how various legal guidelines, ethics codes, and specialty guidelines influence diagnosis and assessment in general. Reference at least one potential conflict between laws in your state, ethical guidelines, or specialty guidelines and explain how you might address the conflict.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a sampling of your colleagues’ postings. Consider how your colleagues’ postings match or differ from your own.

Respond by Day 5 to at least one posting in any of the following ways:

Ask a probing question.

Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

Offer and support an opinion.

Validate an idea with your own experience.

Make a suggestion.

Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to the Discussion forum in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Consider how the insights and suggestions offered by your colleagues might affect your handling of ethical and legal issues in your practice.

 

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