Conflicts Between Ethics and Law for Military Mental Health Providers
Johnson, W Brad
Military medicine 2010 Aug; 175(8): 548-53
Military mental health providers routinely experience mixed-agency ethical dilemmas when obligations to patients and the military conflict. Particularly difficult mixed-agency dilemmas occur when a military psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker encounters an apparent conflict between an ethical obligation--enumerated in a professional code of ethics--and a federal statute. This article explores ethical-legal conflicts for uniformed mental health providers. Three case vignettes illustrate situations in which military providers may find themselves stuck between incongruent ethical and legal demands. The authors conclude with several recommendations designed to prevent and resolve ethical-legal conflicts for military mental health providers.
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