A colleague, Dr. Rowe, has asked you to assist her with a situation. A physician, with whom she often works, referred a hospitalized patient to her for consultation. The patient is terminally ill, with a month to live at best. He is in considerable pain and on morphine, which makes him sleep most of the time. When he is awake, he suffers terribly. He is completely bedridden, needing assistance even to turn over. He has dialysis treatments three times a week. The patient has said he wants all life-saving procedures possible, but the doctor and the patient’s family feel he has suffered enough and would like to remove him from dialysis. Dr. Rowe, a health psychologist, agrees that this would be a reasonable and ethical course of action. According to Dr. Rowe, the physician explained that if the patient has no more dialysis treatments, he will fall asleep and die peacefully in a day or two. The lack of dialysis will not lead to more pain or discomfort than he is already experiencing. Dr. Rowe was asked to evaluate the patient for competency to make his own decisions. The physician does not believe he can really understand his situation and wants Dr. Rowe to talk the patient into stopping dialysis. After interviewing the patient, Dr. Rowe found he has a clear understanding of his condition, his impending death, and the implications of stopping dialysis. In spite of all this, he made it clear that he wants all measures to sustain life continued.
Read the case study carefully, and then review the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct linked in the Required Resources section. You will also need to locate at least three scholarly resources associated with ethics to support your work in this assessment.
Each case study is presented within the context of a colleague faced with an ethical dilemma and reaching out to you for professional advice. You will still need to format this assessment according to APA guidelines, since it is the writing style of the profession. Please include the case study you have chosen on the title page; for example, General Psychology: Health.
Required resources: MUST USE THE APA RESOURCE AND 3 ADDITIONAL FROM BELOW
- American Psychological Association. (2015). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
- Zheng, P., Gray, M. J., Zhu, W., & Jiang, G. (2014). Influence of culture on ethical decision making in psychology. Ethics & Behavior, 24(6), 510–522.
- Haeny, A. M. (2014). Ethical considerations for psychologists taking a public stance on controversial issues: The balance between personal and professional life. Ethics & Behavior, 24(4), 265–278.
- Knapp, S., Handelsman, M. M., VandeCreek, L. D., & Gottlieb, M. (2013). Professional decisions and behaviors on the ethical rim. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 44(6), 378–383.
- Knapp, S., Gottlieb, M. C., Handelsman, M. M., & VandeCreek, L. D. (2013). The dark side of professional ethics. Professional Psychology: Research & Practice, 44(6), 371–377.
- Rogerson, M. D., Gottlieb, M. C., Handeisman, M. M., Knapp, S., & Younggren, J. (2011). Nonrational processes in ethical decision making. American Psychologist, 66(7), 614–623.
For the case study you have selected:
- Explain the potential ethical issues in the situation. Are there conflicting ethical principles?
- Analyze the professional implications of the situation.
- Is the psychology professional practicing outside the scope of licensure?
- Is there a conflict of interest?
- Are there possible issues of confidentiality?
- Are there possible legal implications?
- What types of repercussions might occur?
- Recommend an evidence-based course of action for the psychology professional.