Case Study: Ethical Consultation
Dr. Jamison has joined a group practice of psychologists who have asked her to develop her biography to post with her picture on their social media page. They have asked Dr. Jamison to reach out to her former clients from her last employer to solicit testimonials. Dr. Jamison is very concerned about this request. She was unaware the group practice had a social media page. When she visits the page, she sees several client testimonials for other psychologists in practice, some of which appear to reveal identifying information about the clients.
In 500-750 words:
Describe the ethical issues involved in this situation.
Discuss the steps Dr. Jamison should take with regard to her discovery of potential ethical concerns.
Provide recommendations for the group’s advertising needs that would meet ethical standards.
Use two to three scholarly sources to support your claims.
Fisher, C. (2017). Decoding the ethics code: A practical guide for psychologists. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. ISBN-13: 9781483369297
Describe the Ethical Issues Involved in this Situation
The major ethical issue involved in the situation is the issue of confidentiality, where psychologists have an obligation to keep patient’s information private and only share the information under the provision under the law and with the consent of the patient. In the scenario, the therapists are posting testimonials, including some identifiable information of the client, breaching the confidentiality of the patient. Dr. Jamison is mainly concerned with the ethical issue of patient confidentiality. The rights and the dignity of the clients should be upheld by a psychiatrist by promoting privacy, autonomy, and confidentiality of their clients to enhance trust (Fisher, 2017). Other ethical issues include section 5.02 on a statement by others where psychologists who involve others in placing or creating public statements for promotion of their practice should retain their professional responsibility for the statements. Dr. Jamison and the other psychologist are bound by ethical considerations. Another ethical consideration is on media presentation as outlined in section 5.04 to ensure that statements provided by psychologists are in accordance with the psychological practice and knowledge and consistent with the code of ethics (American Psychological Association, 2017). Psychologists are also not permitted to obtain testimonials from clients who are vulnerable due to their specific circumstances.
The Steps Dr. Jamison Should Take with Regard to her Discovery of Potential Ethical Concerns
The most proper and professional role in addressing the situation is to request a meeting with the practice owner to present and discuss ethical concerns regarding the information posted on the page by other psychologists. Dr. Jamison is already concerned about the request to contact and solicit testimonials from previous clients from her last employer. The doctor needs to clarify that if she was to contact previous clients who are willing to share positive feedback, the client needs to be informed about the situation and made aware that the information provided would be available to others. Failure to notify the clients about the usage of their information would have ethical implications. The doctor needs to discuss the issue of posting identifiable information about clients on the page as the confidentiality between the client, and the psychologist is broken. Psychologists are expected not to disclose any of the patient’s identifiable information by taking reasonable steps to disguise an organization or a person, obtain informed consent and legal authorization (American Psychological Association, 2017).
Recommendations for The Group’s Advertising Needs that Would Meet Ethical Standards
Recommendations for the group’s advertising needs that meet ethical standards would include minimizing intrusion on privacy, being clear on disclosures, not providing compensation for the client’s testimonials, avoiding issuing false statements, and provision of public advice for clients. According to research, the most ethically charged aspect of marketing is advertising (Shabbir, et al., 2019). Top priority should be given to the client’s confidentiality and informed consent to utilize information without disclosing any identifiable information. Respect for the rights and dignity of the clients should be upheld and translated onto action by showing regard to the privacy, autonomy, and confidentiality of the patient (Fisher, 2017). I would recommend that sharing of testimonials by the client should be anonymous. Having a strict ethical code prevents external policing, which may increase barriers. The ability of the group to meet ethical standards will not only prevent ethical and legal implications but will also promote trust between psychologists and their clients.