The Case of Juvenile Polygraphy as a Clinical Ethics Dilemma
Sexual abuse : a journal of research and treatment 2011 Sep; 23(3): 314-28
Polygraph interrogations are used by half of all surveyed juvenile sex offender (JSO) treatment programs in the United States. This is a distinctive and controversial practice that is rarely if ever used with other juvenile delinquent populations, and that is rarely used or is banned from JSO treatment programs in other countries. Clinical polygraphy is an ethically sensitive issue because it involves mental health therapists in involuntary coercive interrogations of minors. This article reviews core mental health professional ethics principles for juveniles. JSO polygraphy is used as an illustrative issue for applying human rights principles to a practice in light of its benefits, risks, and available alternatives.
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