The field of ethics is expanding and has assumed new significance as a compulsory part of study for psychiatrists and all mental health professionals. Ethics and Mental Health: The Patient, Profession and Community presents a new approach to these ethical dilemmas that have become an increasing part of modern practice.
The book begins by exploring current normative theories of psychiatric ethics. It describes how empirical methods can make codes of conduct more representative of professional values. Considering their previous work, concepts of justice, and the moderate communitarian position, the authors outline their methodology, which argues that mental health professionals exist within a perpetual state of tension, caused by conflicts between the Hippocratic Oath, personal values, notions of social justice, and the potentially harmful influences of their social role.
Applying their theory to the area of involuntary psychiatric treatment, the authors address the context of psychiatric practice and the moral agency of psychiatrists. They outline the different influences on the craft of psychiatry to better illustrate the diverse forces that impact moral deliberation and the practice of ethics in mental health. In doing so, they cover areas as diverse as cultural, economic, scientific, and political domains.
The final section of the book applies the methodology to contemporary problems in mental health ethics, formulating how mental health clinicians can approach these quandaries. The book brings a new perspective to classic dilemmas from the past, to contemporary challenges, and in anticipation, to new concerns that will inevitably arise in a dynamic and complex professional context.
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