When Laws and Ethics Collide: What Should Psychologists Do?

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Abstract

At times the laws under which psychologists function may appear to contradict generally recognized ethical values and/or good clinical care. When these circumstances arise, psychologists must determine if a conflict really exists and, if so, seek solutions that reconcile respect for the law with their ethical values. At times, psychologists may decide to follow the law despite their ethical concerns. At other times, they may determine that a conscientious objection is warranted. The authors recommend options to consider when these situations arise and offer a decision-making process.

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