Psychiatric Ethics as Professional and Biomedical Ethics

Jennifer Radden and John Z. Sadler

in The Virtuous Psychiatrist

Published in print December 2009 | ISBN: 9780195389371
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199866328 | DOI:


 						Psychiatric Ethics as Professional and Biomedical Ethics

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This chapter places psychiatric ethics within professional and biomedical ethics more generally, and introduces the “role morality” notion: that some ethical imperatives derive from particular social roles. Some differences between psychiatry and other medical practices are illustrated through three issues: questions of patient autonomy, rules governing the ‘boundaries’ around the therapeutic relationship, and concerns over psychiatric diagnostic categories. Building on previous work in biomedical ethics, the authors adopt the methodology employed in the American Psychiatric Association's Annotations with Particular Application to Psychiatry (2001), which identifies the ethical implications of particular features distinctive to the practice of psychiatry. When practiced with severely ill patients, it is asserted, psychiatry makes extra ethical demands on practitioners.

Keywords: annotations with particular application to psychiatry (APA 2001); biomedical ethics; diagnostic categories; patient autonomy; professional ethics; role morality; social roles; therapeutic boundaries

Chapter.  8332 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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