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Confidentiality: Tarasoff vs. Regents

Please discuss the ethical implication of the professional duty of confidentiality (not sharing client's information with others). Specifically, (1) discuss Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California case) where a psychologists decision became legally problematic even though it followed the professional code of confidentiality. (2) Or discuss Fund of Funds, Ltd. V. Arthur Andersen & Co. case In the accounting profession, the professional duty of confidentiality is limited or overridden by the court of law under special conditions.

Based on these two cases, how should professionals interpret the duty of confidentiality? Answer the question by explaining Armstrong's view "Professional confidentiality are both Deontological and Utilitarian" and "...a Social Contract between professions and the larger society" Is it ethically justifiable for the court of law overrides the code of ethics (such as AMA code of ethics, and AICPA code of ethics)? Is it reasonable to punish a professional because she followed a fully established professional code?

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Hi there! Thanks so much for letting me respond to your post and offer you the best I can. I hope you find the content of this response most helpful for engaging the subject and recognizing your questions and opinions are worth sharing!

Firstly, as far as the directions go, it seems like you've got a pretty in-depth prompt there. I'll be happy to suggest ideas and foundational content so you have a better handle on things.

Secondly, as far as content ideas go...well, there's a lot to cover here. The first thing I would start on would be reviewing the case in particular. I think the clearest and easiest one to use for the purposes of this project is Tarasoff v. Regents. The reason for this is that it allows a very clear avenue for everything that you're being asked to explain in Armstrong's quote later. Basically what you had in that case was a victim suing someone who knew of dangerous tendencies, because those dangerous tendencies led to their suffering. That case was practically dismissed out-of-hand because the plaintiff's case wasn't strong enough. And there are reasons for that; Tarasoff needed to prove culpability on the part of the doctor, and simply knowing someone could be dangerous is not enough to be responsible for that other person's behavior. The plaintiff thought the doctor could have controlled those tendencies, but the fact is that the doctor was not negligent or it would have been a malpractice suit. But now I'm getting a little into my own ...

Solution Summary

Confidentiality Tarasoff versus Regents are examined.

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