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Anger and Forgiveness"Are You There Alone?"10 Good Questions about Life and DeathA Casebook of Ethical Challenges in NeuropsychologyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to Muslim EthicsA Cooperative SpeciesA Critique of the Moral Defense of VegetarianismA Delicate BalanceA Fragile LifeA Life for a LifeA Life-Centered Approach to BioethicsA Matter of SecurityA Natural History of Human MoralityA Philosophical DiseaseA Practical Guide to Clinical Ethics ConsultingA Question of TrustA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Short Stay in SwitzerlandA Tapestry of ValuesA Very Bad WizardA World Without ValuesAction and ResponsibilityAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionActs of ConscienceAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction NeuroethicsAdvance Directives in Mental HealthAfter HarmAftermathAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HealthAgainst Moral ResponsibilityAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, 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DiagnosisBioethicsBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics at the MoviesBioethics Beyond the HeadlinesBioethics Critically ReconsideredBioethics in a Liberal SocietyBioethics in the ClinicBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical EthicsBiomedical Research and BeyondBiosBioscience EthicsBipolar ChildrenBluebirdBodies out of BoundsBodies, Commodities, and BiotechnologiesBody BazaarBoundBoundaries and Boundary Violations in PsychoanalysisBraintrustBrandedBreaking the SilenceBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyCapital PunishmentCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsChallenging the Stigma of Mental IllnessCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionChild Well-BeingChildrenChildren's RightsChoosing ChildrenChoosing Not to ChooseClinical Dilemmas in PsychotherapyClinical EthicsCloningClose toYouCoercion as CureCoercive Treatment in PsychiatryCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognitive Disability and Its Challenge to Moral Philosophy Comfortably 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LifeDelusions of GenderDementiaDemocracy in What State?Demons of the Modern WorldDescriptions and PrescriptionsDesert and VirtueDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDestructive Trends in Mental HealthDeveloping the VirtuesDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital HemlockDigital SoulDignityDisability BioethicsDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisordered Personalities and CrimeDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDoes Feminism Discriminate against Men?Does Torture Work?Double Standards in Medical Research in Developing CountriesDrugs and JusticeDworkin and His CriticsDying in the Twenty-First CenturyEarly WarningEconomics and Youth ViolenceEmbodied RhetoricsEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotional ReasonEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmpathyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEncountering NatureEncountering the Sacred in PsychotherapyEngendering International HealthEnhancing EvolutionEnhancing Human CapacitiesEnoughEros and the GoodErotic InnocenceErotic MoralityEssays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEthical Choices in Contemporary MedicineEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Dilemmas in PediatricsEthical Issues in Behavioral ResearchEthical Issues in Dementia CareEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in the New GeneticsEthical LifeEthical Reasoning for Mental Health ProfessionalsEthical TheoryEthical WillsEthically Challenged ProfessionsEthicsEthicsEthicsEthics and AnimalsEthics and ScienceEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Discovery of the UnconsciousEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics at the CinemaEthics Case Book of the American Psychoanalytic AssociationEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics for EveryoneEthics for PsychologistsEthics for the New MillenniumEthics in CyberspaceEthics in Health CareEthics In Health Services ManagementEthics in Mental Health ResearchEthics in PracticeEthics in PsychiatryEthics in PsychologyEthics in Psychotherapy and CounselingEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEthics, Culture, and PsychiatryEthics, Sexual Orientation, and Choices about ChildrenEvaluating the Science and Ethics of Research on HumansEvilEvil GenesEvil in Modern ThoughtEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolution, Gender, and RapeEvolutionary Ethics and Contemporary BiologyEvolutionary Psychology and ViolenceEvolved MoralityExperiments in EthicsExploding the Gene MythExploiting ChildhoodFacing Human SufferingFact and ValueFaking ItFalse-Memory Creation in Children and AdultsFat ShameFatal FreedomFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist TheoryFinal ExamFirst Do No HarmFirst, Do No HarmFlashpointFlesh WoundsForced to CareForgivenessForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and ReconciliationForgiveness and RetributionFoucault and the Government of DisabilityFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Forensic Mental Health AssessmentFree WillFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will and Reactive AttitudesFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree?Freedom and ValueFreedom vs. InterventionFriendshipFrom Darwin to HitlerFrom Disgust to HumanityFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Silence to VoiceFrom Valuing to ValueFrontiers of JusticeGender in the MirrorGenetic PoliticsGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetics of Original SinGenetics of Original SinGenocide's AftermathGetting RealGluttonyGood WorkGoodness & AdviceGreedGroups in ConflictGrowing Up GirlGut FeminismHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHandbook for Health Care Ethics CommitteesHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of Children's RightsHandbook of PsychopathyHappinessHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHard FeelingsHard LuckHardwired BehaviorHarmful ThoughtsHeal & ForgiveHealing 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War and LawOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn EvilOn Human RightsOn The Stigma Of Mental IllnessOn the TakeOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne ChildOne Nation Under TherapyOne World NowOne World NowOur Bodies, Whose Property?Our Bodies, Whose Property?Our Daily MedsOur Faithfulness to the PastOur Posthuman FutureOut of EdenOut of Its MindOut of the ShadowsOverdosed AmericaOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPassionate DeliberationPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perfecting VirtuePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonalities on the PlatePersonhood and Health CarePersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPerspectives On Health And Human RightsPharmacracyPharmageddonPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhysician-Assisted DyingPicturing DisabilityPilgrim at Tinker CreekPlaying God?Playing 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How Much?Why Some Things Should Not Be for SaleWisdom, Intuition and EthicsWithout ConscienceWomen and Borderline Personality DisorderWomen and MadnessWondergenesWould You Kill the Fat Man?Wrestling with Behavioral GeneticsWriting About PatientsYou Must Be DreamingYour Genetic DestinyYour Inner FishYouth Offending and Youth Justice Yuck!
Psychologists confront ethical dilemmas on a daily basis. These may range from issues around maintaining patient confidentiality to complex issues about how to approach multiple and overlapping patient's situations. This book presents a positive and approachable resource for the profession. At one level the book is a commentary on the American Psychological Association's Code of Ethics, however it is more than just a commentary. Many psychologists will be able to relate to the vignettes and practical examples that are built into the discussion and which assist to underline the relevance and applicability of the ethical guidelines under discussion.
The book is divided into themes which broadly follow the flow of the APA Code of Ethics and which also take into consideration other relevant codes and legislation. The book also takes a 'whole of career' approach, discussing issues from early training and residency through to various career stages or changes that psychologists may experience. Hence, discussion incorporates issues related to private practice, multi-practitioner situations, business issues, research, provision of supervision, forensic psychology, special issues and eventually retirement. At each of these stages there are ethical issues -- both general to the profession and specific to that stage -- which need to be considered.
For some, this book will be a useful tool or handbook to augment training -- especially when progressing into unfamiliar areas of practice. For others this book may be a first systematic introduction to ethical issues in psychology. Seasoned practitioners will find that the path of many of the ethical issues is well trodden but that the book nevertheless provides a solid reminder and a way of bringing a range of issues into focus within a single discussion.
The book's purpose is to clarify the guiding ethical values of the profession and seek to explain where they originate from, how they hang together and why they are important. It seeks to offer a positive antidote to the disciplinary reaction so often promoted when things go wrong, by urging that psychologists are in a position to prepare for most situations -- and to protect themselves and their patients appropriately. Ethics is not about punishment, but it is about making positive well reasoned value judgments and incorporating these into daily practice. It provides a way of fulfilling the potential of the individual within the context of the profession at the highest standards of integrity.
Having established the positive potential of good ethics, the authors explore the foundations for / of ethical behavior (Ch 2). Here they review several common or dominant theories of ethics -- virtue ethics, utilitarianism, deontological ethics, and principle-based ethics. While this review is very welcome, they dismiss the first three far too quickly and opt for principle-based ethics as their preferred approach. It would have been useful to see at least some more sustained argument on this issue and some more solid reasoning about why they arrived at their choice. Principle-based ethics is one approach, but it has flaws that are not touched on at all. For instance, principle-based ethics rarely leads to unambiguous guidance, it tends to suffer from counter examples that can significantly cloud particular situations or instances.
Ethics emphasizes that it is not only what is implemented but how it is implemented that matters. This acknowledgement runs sensitively through the book. At each stage the authors examine a range of appropriate professional responses to an issue or situation and use examples of good practice to tie this in with practice. This is the focus of the book -- the application of good ethics.
The authors utilize a 5 step model for decision making as a practical tool to guide psychologists in making ethical judgments. Again, there are other decision making tools around in the field and the authors simply adopt one without justification or reference to the fact that there are others. However, the lack of discussion of alternate models is probably not a great issue given the central focus of the book. They have chosen a model which is simple, easily memorized (through the mnemonic IDEAL) and which thus lends itself well to the kinds of applications they envisage.
The vignettes threaded through the book are on the whole well placed and illustrative. However, more of them could have been used to draw out the dilemma or difficulty being discussed rather than simply illustrating good practice. The ideal of what good practice is will be reasonably evident to psychologists in most situations, but how one resolves the range of potential ethical dilemmas and how one avoids some of the inadvertent slips (e.g., confidential conversations unintentionally overheard in a waiting area) is of intense interest to psychologists. Many of the serious ethical issues are not as easily resolved as the vignettes would seem to suggest.
How one achieves good practice ethics utilizing the principle-based ethics recommended by the book and the IDEAL model could have been far more thoroughly discussed and illustrated. It felt almost as though the authors believed that once they had identified their approach to ethics and their preferred model, that the application would, in the main, be self-evident. All in all, this book is an excellent and competently written resource, but for those seeking more interaction with than introduction to some of the ethical issues in psychology, other resources will need to be used to supplement this book.
© 2007 Erich von Dietze
Erich von Dietze, Ph.D., Manager, Research Ethics, Murdoch University, Western Australia
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