Legal Aspects of Psychology

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Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology
Heidi Andrews
University of Phoenix – Psych 545
Dr. Meghan Kelley
August 2, 2010

Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology
The legal aspects and issues are a large part of the world of psychology. This topic covers a vast area such as assessments, testing, diagnosing, HIPPA, confidentiality, written consent, case studies, and many more. Professionals struggle with making sure they are not breaking any laws every day and still caring for every patient to the best of their abilities. There are various ways of legally mistreating a patient and this will also be covered in this paper. Throughout this paper, the different legal aspects will be covered and some statistics will be brought to light and examined as their relation to the field of psychology. Legal Issues Related to Informed Consent and Refusal

The definition of informed consent is the result of a process of reaching an agreement to work collaboratively. The process of informed consent provides the client and the therapist a chance to get on the same page. The client needs to understand what treatment that the therapist has in mind for them. This also tends to be a recurrent process. The patient can consent to an initial psychological assessment but then months later it should be altered based on the results of reactions of the patients progress. (Rosenfeld, 2010)

In 1972, the case of Cobbs v. Grant this was quoted “It is the prerogative of the patient, not the physician, to determine for himself the direction in which he believes his interests lie. To enable the patient to chart his course knowledgeably, reasonable familiarity with the therapeutic alternatives and their hazards becomes essential”. There is case after case with quote after quote giving patients the right to choose their own treatment or refuse their treatment. (Pope and Vasquez, 2007)

Legal Issues Associated with Assessment, Testing, and Diagnosing
Assessments, testing, and...
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