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Confidentiality as an Ethical Dilemma - Article Example

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Author : browndomenica
Pages 4 (1004 words)


The researcher of the essay is aimed to analyze the confidentiality. The studies have shown that the most frequently described dilemmas in the field of therapy involve confidentiality. Of these incidents, several revealed that decisions had to be made as to whether confidential information should be disclosed…

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Confidentiality as an Ethical Dilemma

The conflict between honoring confidential agreements and using the information to help the client requires a psychologist to make a decision that could go either way, but the decision must be made regardless. When sharing confidential information outside a treatment relationship, psychologists must consider the nature, purpose, and manner of the disclosure. According to Stephen Behnke, APA ethics director, (2005), “confidentiality is the core value of the profession,” but when faced with an ethical dilemma, the APA Ethics Code can offer guidance in a difficult situation. The key facts that create an ethical dilemma when confidentiality must be breached are first, the nature of an ethical dilemma in which confidentiality is an issue. It is therefore necessary to clarify the term “confidentiality.” It is treatment of information given in a relationship of trust with the understanding that the information will not be disclosed without permission (MedSearch). Another area to be addressed is the purpose of an infringement of confidentiality, and the third is the manner of the disclosure (Behnke, 2005). Below are selected case histories in which confidentiality created an ethical dilemma:
Problem: A colleague withheld information about a client from the therapist to whom she transferred a case on grounds of maintaining client confidentiality. Both were employed in the same agency. Should this information have been shared for the benefit of the client? (Pope & Vetter, 1992, Confidentiality).
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