Cultural Considerations in Release of Information
Ethics and Behavior 2002; 12(2): 143-156
In most mental health professions, confidentiality is probably the most important ethical principle in psychology, aside from nonmalfeasance. However, confidentiality is embedded in the Western values of individuality and autonomy. This creates a moral and ethical dilemma for clinicians working with clients from other cultures. This article presents 3 cases to highlight the conflict that many clinicians are likely to face with regard to confidentiality when working with clients from South Asia and similar cultures. The importance of understanding how cultural values may contradict professional ethics and some ways in which the clinician can address them are also discussed.
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