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Ethics Scenario: The case of Emilia is investigated.

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Ethics Scenario 1. The Case of Emilia

Emilia, aged 4 had been brought to a child psychiatrist because she had regressed in her behaviour and her speech. Since her parents separated, on the grounds of the husband's alleged physical violence against his wife, Emilia had been living with her mother. However, she had seen her father on regular access visits.

Clinical examination of Emilia revealed high risks of psychopathological disorders, but no current identifiable pathology. Emilia's mother was concerned that the child's condition was worsening, and she attributed the child's problems to stress induced by fear of her violent father. She asked the psychiatrist to support her application for a court order discontinuing the father's access visits. The psychiatrist refused, stating that "It is part of the therapy to side with the child rather than with either parent."

After an initial period during which Emilia regularly attended therapy sessions, with reasonably good results, the mother renewed her request to the psychiatrist for an expert opinion to back up her court application. The psychiatrist again refused. There was no court confrontation, but the mother stopped taking Emilia to the therapy sessions.

Who has the ultimate power to give or withhold consent, based upon their interpretation of the child's best interests?

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This job debates an ethics scenario called the case of Emilia.

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This is an interesting example. You have to remember that this is a trained clinician and (we hope) knows what is best. The child's troubles could have stemmed ...

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