Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blogging from the Convention

John Gavazzi & Rick Small
Today, Rick Small and John Gavazzi presented an advanced ethics workshop on ethical decision-making.  The workshop addressed relational ethics: a blend of positive ethics, psychological culture, and patient-focused care.  They used the Acculturation Model (Gottlieb, Handelsman, and Knapp) as a means to introduce how relationships with the community of psychologists is an important factor in understanding the ethical culture of psychology.  Bridging from that model, they highlighted how ethical decisions can be understood within that framework. 

Rick and John also described the differences between remedial ethics and positive ethics.  They also touched upon principle-based ethics as a means to identify competing ethical principles that are sometimes found in ethical conflicts.  Since there is no ethical decision-making strategy within APA's Code, they explained how knowledge of ethics, emotional factors, cognitive biases and situational factors combine to make the best decision possible.  Simultaneously, the outcomes of these decisions are ambiguous at the time the decisions are made, which can lead to anxiety and uncertainty.

Relational ethics accentuates that ethical decisions play out within the psychologist's relationship to the patient.  Relational ethics includes a commitment to both the relationship and high quality of care.  Relational ethics combines psychologist factors with the clinical features of the patient.

Rick and John finished the lecture portion of the presentation with quality enhancing strategies related to documentation and redundant protections.

Finally, Rick and John provided participants with several ethical dilemmas.  The workshop participants discussed the vignettes, focusing on the following questions.

What factors make the dilemma difficult for the psychologist?

What would his/her emotional reactions be to the content of the scenario?

What types of redundant protections and documentation issues would be helpful for the dilemma?

Feedback from workshop participants was uniformly positive.

For a copy of the slides, please email John.