Concise Guide to Ethics in Mental Health Care

Concise Guide to Ethics in Mental Health Care

by Laura Weiss Roberts
     
 

Providing ethical care is the goal of every dedicated clinician and clinical trainee, yet fulfilling this ideal involves far more than simply being -- or trying to be -- good.

Concise yet thorough, this pocket guide fills the void left by traditions, codes, and legal rulings to help define the real meaning of professionalism in the care of human suffering.

Overview

Providing ethical care is the goal of every dedicated clinician and clinical trainee, yet fulfilling this ideal involves far more than simply being -- or trying to be -- good.

Concise yet thorough, this pocket guide fills the void left by traditions, codes, and legal rulings to help define the real meaning of professionalism in the care of human suffering.

Writing with clarity, coherence, and optimism, the authors summarize fundamental principles, enumerate essential skills, and review recent empirical findings in the overlapping areas of clinical ethics and psychiatry. Case illustrations, tables, and strategic lists enhance the book's 17 informative chapters, which are organized into three major topical areas: • Psychiatric ethics -- Basic principles of bioethics; core values, traditions, and skills of the clinical professions; clinical ethical decision making (including the role of health care ethics committees); genetic breakthroughs and their ethical implications; and the three ethics principles in psychiatric research: respect for persons, beneficence, and justice• Clinical settings -- The psychotherapeutic relationship; ethical use of power; confidentiality/privacy and truth telling; informed consent-the cornerstone of ethically sound clinical care; caregiving in small communities, which involves overlapping relationships, roles, and boundaries (e.g., the patient and the clinician grew up on neighboring farms), confidentiality (e.g., everyone in town watches who goes into the clinic, culture (e.g., a mental illness may not be acknowledged or recognize as such), and special stresses of clinicians; mentoring and support during training• Clinical populations -- Emotionally disturbed children, exceptionally demanding work that involves clinical and ethical complexities, such as giving food as a reward, allowing hugs, and reporting child abuse, that do not exist in work with adults; "difficult" patients, from those who refuse to take their medications to those who omit important details about their histories; resource allocation (i.e., "rationing" health care), including the disruptions in clinician-patient relationships caused by managed care; people facing the end of life; addiction psychiatry and the role of stigma; and mental health problems of colleagues.

This volume in the eminently practical Concise Guides series moves us forward in our efforts to improve clinical decision-making, foster awareness, and enrich educational efforts related to the ethically challenging dimensions of mental health care. Complete with glossary, references, index, and suggested further readings, this remarkable guide offers an invaluable toolkit for mental health care students and professionals everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

3 Stars from Doody
Steven H. Miles

Overall, this is more than another excellent addition to the Concise Guides series. It would be a valuable addition in any training program for psychologists, psychiatrists, or psychiatric nurse practitioners. It could serve as a quick reference or, even better, as a guide for self-study, for practicing clinicians as well.

Jeremy A. Lazarus

It is no easy task to compile a theoretical, empirical, and clinical text on ethics that will be useful for psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, medical students, and other mental health professionals. However, Roberts and Dyer have ably provided an easy-to-read, lively, interesting, and comprehensive guide to ethics.

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Steven T. Herron, MD (Assurance Health and Wellness)
Description: Another book in the Concise Guide series, this title delves into the realm of "fundamental ethics principles and skills" specific to the area of mental health. Chapters are brief and most contain case examples at the end. Each is highly referenced with sources from current literature.
Purpose: The authors hope to approach "the ethical aspects of mental health care — both subtle and dramatic — with clarity, coherence, and optimism," using "real experience" to "provide guideposts" as a means to assist those in learning about the special considerations involved in treating those with mental illness.
Audience: The primary groups targeted by this book are those working with, treating, and caring for patients with mental illness. One would presume this specifically includes those in training, such as residents (psychiatry) and people in their internships/externships (psychology).
Features: With its numerous appendixes and case examples, this book provides a unique look into the "subtle and dramatic" differences found between treating general medical patients and those with psychiatric illnesses. In addition, it attempts to address some less well covered areas in the study of ethical situations, such as the use of power in "high-risk situations" and providing mental healthcare for patients in rural settings.
Assessment: Although generally practical, and helpful for its brevity, much of the information is complex and may require more in-depth explanations than presented. Many in the Concise Guide series are written as tools for reference in a situation inhibited by time. Unfortunately, this book is not entirely geared toward this application. In truth, this more likely has to do with the subject matter than the author's thoughtful presentation of the material. Yet, some tables and appendixes may be of use in certain situations. I found the case discussions particularly thought provoking among residents "learning the ropes" of general psychiatry.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781585627219
Publisher:
American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
05/03/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
959,606
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Jeremy A. Lazarus
It is no easy task to compile a theoretical, empirical, and clinical text on ethics that will be useful for psychiatrists, psychiatric residents, medical students, and other mental health professionals. However, Roberts and Dyer have ably provided an easy-to-read, lively, interesting, and comprehensive guide to ethics. (American Journal of Psychiatry)
Steven H. Miles
Overall, this is more than another excellent addition to the Concise Guides series. It would be a valuable addition in any training program for psychologists, psychiatrists, or psychiatric nurse practitioners. It could serve as a quick reference or, even better, as a guide for self-study, for practicing clinicians as well. (Journal of Clinical Psychiatry)

Meet the Author

Laura Weiss Roberts, M.D., is Professor and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Allen R. Dyer, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the James H. Quillen College of Medicine at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee.

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