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Exceptions to Privilege

What exceptions to privilege or confidentiality does New York State have?

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*What exceptions to privilege or confidentiality does New York State have?

According to Koocher and Keith-Spiegel (2009) the concepts of confidentiality and privilege grow out of broader concepts of an individual's right to privacy. As they further explain, a mental health person's privacy rights may fall subject to violations based on the behavior within the norms of society; and endanger to others. Thus, while states may vary, most adhere to the American Psychological Association's (APA, 2002) Code of Ethics with respect to privacy laws. For instance, the current APA ethics Code outlines the mandates for privileged and confidentiality rights including limits of confidentiality before obtaining consent for court-ordered services. Seven further standards protect the client's right to confidentiality in specific contexts.

However, in the state of New York, the ethics law converges with legal or court responsibilities (Michmerhuizer, 2007). According to Michmerhuizer, the principle of confidentiality is set out in legal ethic rules. For instance, New York State denies "discovery" of therapy information in custody cases. Regarding the patient-therapist relationship, New York has three separate evidentiary privileges for physicians, psychologists and social workers, so that certain communications shared between a patient and a mental health provider may or may not be kept confidential. This is limited to the patient's evidentiary privilege, which Aubauer (2005) declares as unjust, unfair and discriminatory. Further, New York does not have a single psychotherapist-patient privilege.

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This solution discusses exceptions to privilege and confidentiality in the state of New York.