Ethical Vigette

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Waiving Confidentiality and Reporting Rights: An Ethical Vignette Paper
Chanae Guinyard
Liberty University

Abstract Confidentiality is an important part within the counseling relationship and environment. Discussed content between the client and therapist is strictly prohibited for others outside of this relationship to disclose. Materials such as an informed consent form, explains how confidential information, will be managed. For the counseling profession, this document involves and agrees that communication is kept in confidence by the counselor and private. The communication that is discussed cannot be used as evidence in court, by state and federal law. However, there are exceptions by state and federal law that requires clinical documentation as evidence when failure to report child or elder abuse. Pennsylvania’s State Board of Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapist and Professional Counselors rules and regulations, the ACA Code of Ethics, and a psychotherapy film presentation contribute to the importance of confidentiality, privileged communication and client’s right to privacy.

Summary Video presentation “Legal and Ethical Issues for Mental Health Professionals, Vol. 1: Confidentiality, Privilege, Reporting, and Duty to Warn,” (2010) explores true facts of various cases pertaining to abuse, some which are Supreme Court cases that dealt with mandating laws which require the duty to warn and report abuse and/or harm to the client within the counseling relationship. Conversations amongst a Supreme Court Justice leader, a clerk, and a legal assistant discuss and debate duties to report child abuse and terms of reasonable cause. Legal cases such as Tarasoff v. Board of Regents of the University of California are discussed in favor to laws that require the duty to warm when harm is clear and intended by a client. However, everything that is said or communicated by



References: ACA Code of Ethics. (2005). Retrieved from http://www.counseling.org/resources/aca-code-of-ethics.pdf Pennsylvania State Department. (2009). Retrieved from http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/state_board_of_social_workers,_marriage_and_family_therapists_and_professional_counselors/12524/rules___regulations/572104 Feldman, S (Producer). (2010). Legal and Ethical Issues for Mental Health Professionals, Vol. 1: Confidentiality, Privilege, Reporting, and Duty to Warn. Available from http://ctiv.alexanderstreet.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/view/1779007

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