Applied Ethics in Mental Health Care
This book discusses some of the most critical ethical issues in mental health care today, including the moral dimensions of addiction, patient autonomy and compulsory treatment, privacy and confidentiality, and the definition of mental illness itself. Although debates over these issues are ongoing, there are few comprehensive resources for addressing such dilemmas in the practice of psychology, psychiatry, social work, and other behavioral and mental health care professions. This book meets that need, providing foundational background for undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses.
Topics include central questions such as evolving views of the morality and pathology of deviant behavior; patient competence and the decision to refuse treatment; recognizing and treating people who have suffered trauma; addiction as illness; the therapist’s responsibility to report dangerousness despite patient confidentiality; and boundaries for the therapist’s interaction with patients outside of therapy, whether in the form of tennis games, gift-giving, or social media contact. For the most part the selections address contemporary issues in contemporary terms, but the book also offers a few historic or classic essays, including Thomas S. Szasz’s controversial 1971 article “The Ethics of Addiction.” Contributors include Laura Weiss Roberts, Frederic G. Reamer, Charles P. O’Brien, and Thomas McLellan.
About the Editors
Dominic A. Sisti is Director of the Scattergood Program for Applied Ethics of Behavioral Healthcare in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Arthur L. Caplan is Director of the Division of Medical Ethics in the Department of Population Health at New York University’s Langone Medical Center.
Hila Rimon-Greenspan is a researcher at Bizchut, the Israeli Human Rights Center for People with Disabilities.
—Paul Root Wolpe, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Center for Ethics, Emory University
—Barry Schwartz, Professor of Psychology, Swarthmore College; coauthor of Practical Wisdom: The Right Way to Do the Right Thing
—John Maher MD, FRCPC; Senior Editor, Journal of Ethics in Mental Health