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Ethical issues in dealing with an agitated patient

Using the case study below, please help me with applying the ethical model as developed with Canadian Code of Ethics (applying all 10 steps). Please cite all relevant standards and codes, both from the Canadian Code, and from the APA

The case study is as follows:
You have been working with a patient for a few weeks, when she comes to her appointment in an agitated state. You decide to refer her to an inpatient facility because her behavior has become very unreliable. She is not overtly suicidal or homicidal. When you call the facility the next day to check on her status, the hospital will neither confirm nor deny that she is a patient there. You have a generic release form that she signed when you started working with her a couple of weeks previously.

Please address the following questions (note: see additional question below):
Can you use the previously signed form to get information about your client?
Can you fax the release form to the clerk at the hospital?

ADDITIONALLY: Prior to your decision to refer her for inpatient treatment, the client was engaged in abusing prescription medication. She was taking the Xanax that her physician had prescribed for her much more quickly than the prescribed dosage. In fact, she had taken 17 mg in the 30 hours prior to admission. She should have only taken 2.5 mg.

Please also address the following question:
Does this change anything?

Solution Preview

*The Ethical Decision-making Model of the Canadian Code of Ethics

The Canadian Code of Ethics for Psychologists, (CCPA, 2000) provides 10 steps to initiate the process of ethical decision making based on the following mode. The following paraphrase of approaches to the process of ethical decision-making is provided so that counsellors will have some direction when making ethical decisions and resolving ethical dilemmas.

*The Ethical Decision-making Process applied to the case study

1. Identification of the individuals and groups as it relates to the decision (Identify who will be involved and affected by whatever choice is made [e.g., the therapist, the referral party])
2. Identification of ethically relevant issues and practices (confidentiality, privacy, termination of services).
3. Consideration of personal biases, stresses, or self-interest influencing the choice or action. The client's relapse could bias the decision, and the fact that the client has left the clinic referred to.
4. Seek an alternative courses of action. In this case, an alternative course of action would suggest establishing a multiple relationship of care with the consent of the client and the referral institution to treat the client.
5. Analyze long and short-term risks and benefits and who will be affected. The short-term risk is that the quick referral could leaving the client feeling lost and rejected. The long-term risk is the potential for disrupting the service and comprising the person's wellbeing.
6. Choice of action after applying principles (evaluating the decision made based on the decision-making principles of the CPAA)
7. Assume responsibility for the consequences of the action. If the client has not made considerable progress, accept the responsibility for the decision to make the referral.
8. Evaluate the ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses ethical issues concerning re-using generic release forms and potential prescription drug abuse patients.

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