BHS 365 Ethics in Health Care
09 June 2011
Privacy and confidentiality in the context of child and family counseling, should be no different than with the privacy granted between a patient and provider in accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974. There are other guidelines that must be respected ethically speaking of course. In the counseling environment regardless of age the patient and provider relationship must be respected. As well as the education of the patient must be explained. They the patient must understand that what they tell the provider is strictly between them unless the information provided is about harming another and causing damage to something of interest. In these cases the authorities would be informed. But, the information shared must be respected by the provider to not share with the parents or surrogate at a later time.
As a provider myself I respect the confidentiality of the relationship I have with all of my patients. What we speak about is between us, and in certain cases I must educate my patients and have them sign a document acknowledging their understanding of the Privacy Act of 1974.
As a parent I can see the ethical dilemma that would and could arise. You want to make sure that you know everything that is going on in your child’s life. Including what is happening between closed doors. But we as parents must respect the privacy and confidentiality of what happens behind those doors. As well as respect that the provider will inform you as the parent of any issues that could or will be harming. As the provider it is their responsibility to present the family with education on differential diagnosis, and activities to increase family cohesiveness. You also do not want as a family member to have your families “dirty laundry” thrown out into public arena. That is where the agreement between patient and provider comes into play.