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    Ethics in Clinical Tests

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    The one responsibility as tester I would add, is maintaining security of test items. This is extremely important so that clients cannot access items in advance and therefore invalidate the assessment. I know from working in an autism center at a large medical center in NY, that sometimes other psychologists will request copies of a child's filled in test protocol forms, to see precisely how a child responded to test items, to help the psychologist formulate an intervention plan. These forms are released to qualified PhD level licensed psychologists at times.

    1) What do you think of this practice?

    2) Do you think it is OK as long as the parent signs a release? It would not be a violation of the security of the test items, since the licensed psychologist would already be aware.

    3) Would you consider it ethical?

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    Solution Preview

    1. The key in determining whether the practice is acceptable is understanding the practitioner's need/motivation to know the information about the patient. Unfortunately, in clinical practice, sometimes clinicians who are not directly involved in a patient's care may have access to levels of information which can actually be harmful to the patient's wellbeing. This ventures into the realm of ethics, which will be discussed under number 3. However, from the pure perspective of security of test items a conscientious clinician will do their best to aid the patient by not compromising the process. One important safeguard is to have a carefully standardized and monitored process by which the information can be accessed. My personal stance is that the psychologist's ability to properly treat the patient will ...

    Solution Summary

    Is it appropriate and ethical for a clinician to have access to previously performed psychological evaluations, and to what extent? What role do release forms play? Learn the analysis of these questions and the application of bioethical principles in similar situations.