Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology

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Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology
Morgan Turner
University of Phoenix
Survey of Professional Psychology
PSYCH 545
Amina Porter
September 8th, 2010

Legal Aspects of Professional Psychology Professional psychology has many complexities that set it apart from other recognized branches of psychology. The intricacies of professional psychology make it fodder for legal consideration. The patients and clinicians have an obligation to one another to adhere to the guidelines set forth according to the American Psychological Association (heretofore known as APA) that protects both parties’ rights. In this paper, the legal aspects of professional psychology will be discussed in detail. The concepts of informed consent and psychological assessment/testing/diagnostics will be examined. The effects of legislation and competency will also be discussed as it pertains to professional psychology. The principle of informed consent is an integral component of the foundation of legal and ethical practice in professional psychology. According to the Encyclopedia of Human Genome: “ Historically informed consent has its origins in two parallel strands of thought within moral philosophy and within law. Within moral philosophy, the concept of individual autonomy has become increasingly important during the last 250 years. It has been realized that there is normally not sufficient justification to override the considered decisions of competent persons” (2003). Across the world, legal systems have traditional beliefs regarding the prohibition of the manipulation of an individual’s body without their consent. However, in recent years these prohibitions have been expanded to include intangible components of a person such as their personal information. This concept is bolstered by the focus on basic human rights that is founded in legal theory. In an ideal situation people consenting to treatment or research as part of a psychological experience would



References: American Psychological Association. 2010. Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct 2010 Amendments. Retrieved from www.apa.org on September 8th, 2010. Crowhurst, B., & Dobson, K. (1993). Informed consent: Legal issues and applications to clinical practice. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 34(3), 329-346. doi:10.1037/h0078838. Cummings, N. (2006). Psychology, the stalwart profession, faces new challenges and opportunities. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 37(6), 598-605. doi:10.1037/0735-7028.37.6.598. (n.d). (2003). Informed Consent: Ethical and Legal Issues. Retrieved from XRefer XML database.

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