– Analyze the legal issues related to informed consent and refusal.
– Evaluate the legal issues associated with assessment, testing, and diagnosis in professional psychology.
– Explain the importance and challenges of maintaining confidentiality in the therapeutic relationship.
– Explain how professional competence plays such an important role in professional psychology.
– Evaluate how legislative acts and case law decisions have directly influenced the practice of professional psychology. Use specific examples of both in your discussion.

 

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Psychology and Law

Legal issues related to informed consent and refusal will be discussed first. Legal issues associated with assessment, testing, and diagnosis in professional psychology will be evaluated second. The importance of maintaining confidentiality in therapeutic relationships will be explained third. The influence of legislation on professional psychology will be evaluated fourth. The role of competence in professional psychology will be explained last.

– The legal issues related to informed consent and refusal

[Informed consent is a legal requirement applicable to all medical care. Physicians who provide services to patients are compelled, ethically and morally, to allow patients to make their own health care decisions based upon all material information available. The concept is derived from the ideal that each patient has a right to determine what is done to his or her body] (Liang, 2003, p. 1).

According to Pope and Vasquez there are many laws, usually state based, which pertain to informed consent (2007). The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) of 1996 is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of one’s medical records and is usually covered during the informed consent process. The oldest known medical standard, which dates back to the Greek’s Hippocratic Oath in which physicians have more of an authoritarian (rather than a collaborative) approach to medical care, does not include any laws related to informed consent. The Nuremberg Declaration after World War II (WWII) helped establish the first laws in regard to informed consent and put control of this into the hands of the patient. It “revealed horrific and inhumane practices of many health care professionals during WWII under the guise of ‘treatment’ and ‘research’” (Pope & Vasquez, 2007, p. 137)………………….

 

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