The Ethics Primer of the American Psychiatric Association presents ethical dilemmas encountered by psychiatrists in everyday clinical practice. There are 11 chapters, each written by a member of APA’s Ethics Committee. Topics discussed in each chapter are listed below:
• Chapter 1: Boundary Violations deals with boundary violations in the doctor-patient relationship, whether social, sexual, or business.
• Chapter 2: Children, Adolescents, and Families deals with issues such as informed consent, psychopharmacology, hospitalization, and psychotherapy with this population.
• Chapter 3: Geriatric Populations features information on confidentiality, competence and consent, quality of life, abuse, neglect, and use of restraints.
• Chapter 4: Involuntary Hospitalization focuses on topics of autonomy, informed consent, and beneficence.
• Chapter 5: Managed Care discusses reconciling ethical conduct with managed care’s cost containment and rationing of medical services.
• Chapter 6: Confidentiality focuses on how principles of confidentiality can clash with the business ethics of managed care and insurance companies.
• Chapter 7: Gifts highlights ethical decisions regarding gifts from the pharmaceutical industry and patients.
• Chapter 8: Duty to Report Colleagues Who Engage in Fraud or Deception discusses what to do when a colleague uses impaired judgment in any number of situations.
• Chapter 9: Ethics of Emergency Care features information on how to treat psychiatric patients who come into the emergency room with physical illnesses.
• Chapter 10: Ethics and Forensic Psychiatry includes information about boundary issues and management of ethical misconduct allegations.
• Chapter 11: Consultations and Second Opinions offers guidance about when to obtain additional help in the form of consultations or second opinions.
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