Case Study: Duty to Protect
Read “Case 4: Research on Intimate Partner Violence and the Duty to Protect” on pages 435-436 in your textbook. Once you have read the case study completely, answer the discussion questions below in 300-500 words. Use one to two scholarly resources to support your answer. When appropriate, use in-text citations according to APA formatting.
Why is this an ethical dilemma? Which APA Ethical Principles help frame the nature of the dilemma?
How are APA Ethical Standards 2.01f, 3.04, 3.06, 4.01, 4.02, 4.05, and 8.01 relevant to this case? Which other standards might apply?
What are Dr. Yeung’s ethical alternatives for resolving this dilemma? Which alternative best reflects the Ethics Code aspirational principles and enforceable standards, legal standards, and obligations to stakeholders? Can you identify the ethical theory (discussed in Chapter 3) guiding your decision?
What steps should Dr. Yeung take to implement her decision and monitor its effect?
Aidan is a research participant in this scenario. What are rights to privacy and confidentiality? How was this established? Under the circumstances in this scenario, what are the ethical issues related to his confidentiality and/or privacy?
While APA style is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and documentation of sources should be presented using APA formatting guidelines.
Why is this an Ethical Dilemma? Which APA Ethical Principles Help Frame the Nature of the Dilemma?
The situation is an ethical dilemma since Dr. Yeung has to choose between reporting the situation to the authority breaking the confidentiality she has with her participants Aiden and Maya, or not contacting the authorities, which results in failure to adhere to her professional duty to prevent the patient from harm. The ethical principle includes principle A: Beneficence and Maleficence, where she has a duty to prevent or minimize imminent harm, and Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility, where she has a responsibility to her profession, participants, and the law (Fisher, 2017).
How Are APA Ethical Standards 2.01f, 3.04, 3.06, 4.01, 4.02, 4.05, And 8.01 Relevant to This Case? Which Other Standards Might Apply?
According to Standards 2.01f, psychologists have to be familiar with administrative or judicial roles when assuming forensic roles, and Dr. Yeung, in this case, will be providing expert opinion. Dr. Yeung should avoid harm according to standard 3.04 as psychologists seek to safeguard and minimize harm where unavoidable when conflict occurs in their professional obligations. If she decides to report Aiden, Dr. Yeung would be involved in a conflict of interest based on standard 3.06. The doctor has an obligation to maintain confidentiality according to standard 4.01 while in line with standard 4.02, which requires a discussion of the limits of confidentiality. Informed consent is required as guided by standard 4.05. Dr. Yeung has to ensure she has institutional approval as required in standard 8.01through consent forms (Fisher, 2017).
What Are Dr. Yeung’s Ethical Alternatives for Resolving This Dilemma? Which Alternative Best Reflects the Ethics Code Aspirational Principles and Enforceable Standards, Legal Standards, And Obligations to Stakeholders? Can You Identify the Ethical Theory (Discussed in Chapter 3) Guiding Your Decision?
Dr. Yeung has the ethical obligation to prevent Aiden and his family from notifying the wife and authorities. Since notifying the third authority puts the project at risk, she must notify the parties involved in the research project of her intentions. She may also choose to maintain confidentiality and not report. The best alternative is reporting the situation while violating privacy and the research project to prevent Aiden’s family from harm. The ethical theory guiding the discussion is utilitarianism theory, where an ethical decision is made by evaluating the consequences of an act terming an act as right if it leads to happiness for the majority (Abumere, 2019).
What Steps Should Dr. Yeung Take to Implement Her Decision and Monitor Its Effect?
Dr. Yeung should identify all the statements made by Aiden, obtain a timeline proof by dating all events as they take place, and contact the project lead to notify the situation. Contact with an attorney would be crucial to ensure all ethical and legal decisions are made.
Aidan Is A Research Participant in This Scenario. What Are Rights to Privacy and Confidentiality? How Was This Established? Under the Circumstances in This Scenario, What Are the Ethical Issues Related to His Confidentiality And/or Privacy?
Rights to privacy and confidentiality refer to the protection of personal information and only disclose it when issued with informed consent by the client. This is established by signing an informed consent form. Ethical issues in the scenario include Dr. Yeung reporting Aiden’s statement to a third parting breaching trust between them but preventing harm to Aiden’s family versus maintaining privacy and confidentiality by not reporting but exposing the family to harm and failing to honor the ethical obligation to prevent imminent harm.