Informed Consent and Confidentiality
PSY 570 Informed Consent and Confidentiality. Consider the area of the psychology field you see yourself pursuing for a career. Explain the difference between privacy, confidentiality, and privilege based on how they are perceived in your choice of field.
How do professionals in your field establish informed consent documents or agreements with those they serve? In your response, consider potential dilemmas that could arise from confidentiality issues.
In response to your peers, discuss how their explanations of privacy, confidentiality, and privilege may impact how informed consent is established in a different field of psychology.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric.
All human beings have three lives: public, private, and secret.
—Gabriel Garcia Márquez
Figure 6.1 (http://med.uottawa.ca)
Informed consent and confidentiality are considered the most essential cornerstones in psychology. Informed consent involves verbal and written communication to a client, student, research participant, advisee, or any other person receiving psychological services or guidance. Informed consent covers all of the rules of engagement. In this communication, we impart sufficient information to those we serve to help them decide whether or not to move forward with accepting services. As the chart above indicates, we must provide adequate information, determine if the decision is voluntary, and ascertain the client’s decisional capacity. All clients and others we serve in the field of psychology have a right to know all of the rules and the particulars that go with varying forms of service.
Confidentiality is our promise to those we serve that we will keep private all communications they share except those that are overruled by law. There are always at least three exceptions or limitations to confidentiality. These include when a person is suicidal with plan and intent when a person is homicidal with plan or intent, and when there is a strong suspicion that child abuse has occurred. In addition to these law-based limits to confidentiality, there are other areas where those we serve may lose their confidentiality. When we bill insurance on behalf of a client, they have agreed, by authorizing billing, that the insurance company can access their records. When a credit card is used to pay for services, there is a loss of complete confidentiality by the nature of this type of financial transaction. Writing a check for therapy means that the check will be deposited in the therapist’s bank account, and some privacy is lost in these transactions. Confidentiality is more than knowing how to keep quiet about the people we serve. Module Six explores these essential considerations and foundations.