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Flashcards in Ethics 1 Deck (39):

The guidelines for answering ethics questions on the EPPP are...

1. Determine what ethical issue is being raised.
- try to restate the problem succinctly
2. Determine what the ethical standards say about the issue.
- you should be able to accurately paraphrase the standards that apply.
- you must apply the language of the standards, not your personal sense of ethics
- you must apply the standards, not local law
3. Choose the best answer
- there might be more than one "right" answer, or none


The Ethics Committee's primary concern is...

... protecting the public against harmful acts by psychologists.


Under what circumstances may the Committee act on anonymous complaints?

Typically it does not act on anonymous complaints. However, if the information on which the complaint is based is already in the public domain, it may act.


What is acting "sua sponte" and when might it happen?

Sua sponte: the Committee acts on its own (without a complaint). This may happen within a year of any of the following occurances:
- a felony conviction
- a finding of malpractice
- expulsion or suspension from a state assoc. for unethical conduct
- delicensure by a state board


What options does the APA Ethics Committee have in adjudicating complaints?

- dismiss the charges
- recommend a sanction less than formal charges
- issue formal charges
- offer stipulated resignation


Describe circumstances under which the Committee might dismiss charges.

a) no violation found
b) trivial or corrected violation
c) insufficient evidence
d) educative letter, in which the Committee chooses to dismiss charges and issue a confidential letter to the complainee concerning the charged behaviors


Describe circumstances under which the Committee might pass sanctions less than formal charges.

a) reprimand, in which the complainee is found to have committed an ethical violation, but one which is unlikely to cause harm to others or the professions
b) censure, in which the complainee is found to have committed an ethical violation which is likely to cause harm, but that harm is unlikely to be substantial for others or the profession


Describe the types of sanctions that may be imposed by the Committee.

- cease and desist order, requiring the complainee to stop the specified unethical behavior
- supervision requirement, in which the complainee must engage in supervision
- education, training, or tutorial requirement (presumably relevant to the unethical behavior)
- evaluation and/or treatment requirement to determine a need for treatment or, if dysfunction is established, to obtain treatment for it
- probation, in which the complainee must permit the Committee to monitor him/her to ensure compliance with other directives


Describe what it means for the Committee to bring formal charges against a complainee.

Formal charges entail the Committee recommending to the APA's Board of Directors that the alleged violator be dropped from APA membership. When this is recommended, the complainee has a right to request a formal hearing before a committee established by the Board.


Describe the Committee's options in a stipulated resignation.

a) in lieu of other action, when the Committee chooses to allow the complainee to resign from APA membership, pursuant to admission of violations and accepting a minimum time period before s/he is eligible to re-apply to the APA.
b) in response to a "show cause" notice, when the complainee is required to demonstrate why s/he should not be expelled from the APA; the member may resign with admission of violation.


What is the purpose of the Ethics Code? What are some important things to remember about it?

- it is intended to provide guidance
- it is not intended as a basis of civil liability; laws are distinct from the Code
- if the Code establishes a higher standard than the law, psychologists are expected to abide by the Code
- if there is a conflict between the Code and the law, psychologists are expected to make their commitment to the Code known and try to resolve the conflict responsibly; if they cannot, they may adhere to the requirements of the law


Name the five General Principles of the Ethics Code and say what their collective purpose is.

A: Beneficence and Nonmalifecence
B: Fidelity and Responsibility
C: Integrity
D: Justice
E: Respect for People's Rights and Dignity

The General Principles are aspirational goals which are not enforceable but guidelines in arriving at ethical actions.


What is the principle of Beneficence and Nonmaleficence?

- benefit those with whom we work and do no harm
- safeguard the welfare and rights of other persons and animals
- resolve conflicts among these concerns in a responsible fashion that minimizes harm
- remain alert to and guard against factors that might lead to misuse of our influence
- be aware of the effect of our own wellness on others


What is the principle of Fidelity and Responsibility?

- we are aware of our relationships with others and responsibilities to society
- we seek to uphold professional standards of conduct and act with clarity and responsibility both for ourselves and those with whom we work
- we consult and cooperate with other professionals to best serve the interests of those with whom we work
- we strive to provide a portion of our professional time pro bono


What is the principle of Integrity?

- we seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in our work
- we do not lie, cheat, or steal
- when deception is ethically justifiable, we act to correct any resulting harmful effects
- we strive to keep our promises and avoid unwise commitments


What is the principle of Justice?

- we support equal access to and quality of our work with those who seek our services
- we practice awareness of our biases, competencies, and other limitations to avoid unjust practices


What is the principle of Respect for People's Rights and Dignity?

- we respect the dignity and worth of all people and the rights to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination
- we consider that special safeguards may be required to allow these for vulnerable groups
- we are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences and consider them when working with others
- we strive to eliminate the effect on our work of biases based on these and do not knowingly participate in activities which are


Under what circumstances might a psychologist's non-professional behavior draw the attention of the Committee?

When the behavior affects the psychologist's role as a professional or reflects on the field of psychology, for example:
- engaging in an act with serious consequences, e.g., rape, murder, etc.
- when the conduct becomes highly publicized


What purpose do the Ethical Standards serve? What are some important things to remember about them?

- they are enforceable rules, as opposed to the General Principles, which are guidelines
- they apply to various roles, but may do so differently depending on the context
- they are not exhaustive
- they do not apply to the purely private conduct of psychologists


List the 10 areas covered by the Ethical Standards and how many standards are in each area.

1. Resolving Ethical Issues (8)
2. Competence (6)
3. Human Relations (12)
4. Privacy and Confidentiality (7)
5. Advertising and Other Public Statements (6)
6. Record Keeping and Fees (7)
7. Education and Training (7)
8. Research and Publications (15)
9. Assessment (11)
10. Therapy (10)


List the 4 other sets of APA standards outlined in the study materials.

1. General Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services
2. Specialty Guidelines for the Delivery of Services
3. Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing
4. Guidelines for Providers of Psychological Services to Ethnic, Linguistic, and Culturally Diverse Populations


List the 8 standards under section 1, Resolving Ethical Issues.

1) Misuse of Psychologists' Work
2) Conflicts between Ethics and Law, Regulations, and Other Governing Legal Authorities
3) Conflicts between Ethics and Organizational Demands
4) Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations
5) Reporting Ethical Violations
6) Cooperating with Ethics Committees
7) Improper Complaints
8) Unfair Discriminations against Complainants and Respondents


What is standard 1.01 Misuse of Psychologists' Work?

We take steps to correct or minimize misuse or misrepresentation of our work.


What is the standard 1.02 Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulation, or Other Governing Local Authority?

When such conflicts occur, we make known our commitment to the Ethics Code and try to resolve the conflict. If we can't we may adhere to the law, regulation, etc.


What is the standard 1.03 Conflicts between Ethics and Organizational Demands?

When such conflicts occur, we:
a) clarify the nature of the conflict
b) make known our commitment to the Code
c) resolve the conflict in keeping with the Code as much as possible


What is the standard 1.04 Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations?

When we believe a violation has occurred, we attempt to resolve it by bringing it to the attention of the individual, if appropriate and it does not violate confidentiality.


What is the standard 1.05 Reporting Ethical Violations?

When informal resolution is inappropriate or fails, we may, as appropriate, refer to:
- state or national ethics committees
- state licensing boards
- institutional authorities

This does not apply if:
- confidentiality would be violated
- one is retained to review another's ethics charges


What is the standard 1.06 Cooperating with Ethics Committees?

- We cooperate with ethics boards; failure to do so is itself an ethics violation.
- We address confidentiality issues in the process.
- Requests for deferment are not inherently violations.


What is the standard 1.07 Improper Complaints?

We do not make or encourage complaints that disregard relevant facts (and, thus, are likely to be dismissed).


What is the standard 1.08 Unfair Discrimination against Complainants and Respodents?

- We do not retaliate against those filing complaints or complainees.
- This is different from taking adjudicative action.


List the 6 standards under section 2, Competence.

1. Boundaries of Competence
2. Providing Services in Emergencies
3. Maintaining Competence
4. Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgment
5. Delegation of Work to Others
6. Personal Problems and Conflicts


What are the 6 parts of standard 2.01 Boundaries of Competence?

a) We work within what we're trained to do and have experience in.
b) When new relevant knowledge is discovered, especially regarding demographic factors, we get the appropriate training, consultation, or supervision, or we refer, except in emergencies (2.02).
c) When we plan to expand our serrvices, we get trained appropriately.
d) In order to avoid denying services, we may provide them if we have related training, provided we make reasonable effort to get appropriate training.
e) In cases of emerging knowledge domains, we still take reasonable steps to ensure competence and to protect those we serve.
f) Forensic psychologists become reasonably familiar with relevant judicial and administrative rules.


What is the standard 2.02 Providing Services in Emergencies?

- In emergencies, we may provide services for which we have not necessarily been trained in order that such services are not denied.
- We discontinue this when the emergency is over or appropriate services are available.


What is the standard 2.03 Maintaining Competence?

We develop and maintain our competence.


What is the standard 2.04 Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments?

Our work is based on science and professional knowledge.


What is standard 2.05 Delegation of Work to Others?

When we delegate, we:
1) avoid creating exploitative or biasing relationships
2) work within a delegate's competence
3) see that delegates perform competently


What is the standard 2.06 Personal Problems and Conflicts?

a) We refrain from activities that will interfere with our professional competence.
b) We get help or limit our work if personal problems interfere with our professional competence.


Under what circumstances might a psychologist decline a case that they are competent to treat?

1) It does not unfairly discriminate (3.01).
2) A referral is made.
3) It is not an emergency.


Name 2 guidelines for determining when to consult versus when to limit services due to personal problems or therapist-client demographic differences.

- If you suspect your problems or differences might be interfering, consult.
- If you know (or should know) your problems or differences are interfering, limit services and refer as appropriate.