The most known issue with psychology and the law is that you are not allowed to breach your clients’ confidentiality. Confidentiality is the primary ethical obligation that psychologists must abide by in their practice. If needed, you are allowed to ask the client to sign a release of confidentiality paper that would give you to express what your client has discussed in sessions. There is an ethical concern about signing the waiver; how are we to know if the client is in suitable head space to give consent? As their doctor, you are supposed to protect them and their rights. If the client trusts you and asks for them to sign, they may believe you will still defend them if needed. However, when that waiver is signed, it is no longer in the psychologist’s hands; they must legally answer any questions they are asked.
APA standard 3:10 (c) states that if there is a court order for the doctor to testify, they must fully inform the client, “including whether the services are court ordered or mandated and any limits of confidentiality, before proceeding(APA,2002).”
Keeping what is revealed during a session private and confidential allows the patient to feel they are in a safe space to discuss their feelings. Psychologists need to remember how those notes can be subpoenaed at any point when taking notes during a session, so always keep notes to a minimum.
Reply 8-1 MG (250 words with 1 reference)
Some ethical issues that might arise between psychology and the legal system would be confidentiality and true informed consent. Because psychologists often see people who are in altered or vulnerable states, they might not be able to truly give informed consent to disclosing information to the legal system. If the patient does not understand the full extent of disclosing information but signs it out of fear or anxiety, there would be some questioning of if that is true informed consent. If the legal system is in a rush to get this information or the documents are not adequately explained, the patient might feel forced to sign the documents without knowing the who, what, when, where, and whys of them forfeiting their privacy rights. (Kress, 2013).
Confidentiality is one of the ethical obligations that psychologists must abide by in their practice. Keeping what is discussed private and confidential not only builds trust between the patient and the professional, but it also keeps the patient safe as they talk about raw feelings and emotions in safe spaces. If there were to be a break in the confidentiality between the two parties, it can do more damage and cause some trust issues within the patient, which could hurt or stop their treatment plan’s success. The psychologist does have an obligation to protect the patient’s privacy rights, but if the patient signs the disclosure documentation, there isn’t anything the psychologist can do. The legal system’s main goal isn’t to protect the privacy right’s of the patient, but it is the professional’s obligation to. This can cause an issue if the patient does not want to sign the disclosure or if they sign it during a state where they do not understand fully the right’s they are giving up.
REPLY 8-2 WC (250 words with 1 reference)
Defining insanity will differ from country to country and is based on mental disorders and behaviors. If someone is determined to be insane after committing a crime, they most likely will not be responsible for their actions (Richie et al., 2014). However, not all mental illnesses will fall under the umbrella of insanity. Insanity would include a mental disorder that has reached a point where the person cannot make decisions based on rationale or logic and impedes their ability to determine right from wrong. They do not understand their actions and did not commit the crime with the intent to commit a crime. If someone is mentally ill but not considered insane, regret may be present as they understood that what they did was wrong and there will be consequences. Furguson & Olgoff (2011) explain “The idea that one is not responsible for one’s actions when the actions are the product of mental illness, such that they cannot appreciate the nature of their actions, has in one form or another been in existence for centuries” (p. 79).