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Legal Issues in Counseling

Landmark legal cases related to counseling and psychotherapy have led to changes in prevailing federal and state statutes and case law. The understanding of the core issues inherent in these significant cases as well as their implications for the counseling profession is important. Additionally, it is imperative to keep abreast of current and pending legal cases related to the counseling field. The composition of various professional ethical codes is influenced by the attention and outcomes resulting from these landmark cases.

Research a current or historic landmark legal case related to either informed consent or evaluation and reports in court. Provide a brief description of this case, with full citations.
State the appropriate ACA ethical code related to this case, as well as the relevant AMHCA code.
Evaluate the implications of this legal case on the counseling profession.
Finally, examine the statutes and case law in the state of Maryland and provide, if possible, at least one statute or law that reflects this legal case's implication on practice.

Solution Preview

(1) Research a current or historic landmark legal case related to either informed consent or evaluation and reports in court. Provide a brief description of this case, with full citations.

Cases involving Informed consent have emerged in the literature based on the (1972) landmark case of Canterbury vs. Spence. The case of Canterbury vs. Spense gave legal and medical authority to the "reasonable" person standard in informed consent. The case involved a patient who had undergone surgery for a herniated disc, and became paralyzed after the surgery. In establishing the ruling, the court ruled that the average person has little or no understanding of the medical arts and ordinarily has only the physician to whom he or she can look to for enlightment to reach an intelligent decision (Canterbury v. Spense as cited in Brenner, & Bal, 2008). Based on this legal standard of informed consent, the reasonable person standard and disclosures containing information about the risks and benefits of treatment resulted in many cases based on the landmark decision.

Reasonable disclosures refers to all information that a reasonable person might want, including proposed treatments , risks and benefits before providing informed consent to treatment and/or medication (Quaid, Faden, Vinning, & Freeman, 1989). Primarily, in the psychology discipline, informed consent as it related to this decision focused on risk associated with allegations concerning recovered memories. For example, an Appeals Court upheld a decision based on Canterbury vs. Spence based upon a ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses landmark legal cases related to counseling.

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