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What is an ethical transgression?

What ethical traits, concepts, and principles are presented in this article?
How was the chosen ethical issue an example of poor ethical decision making?
What ethical reasoning strategies could have helped in this situation?

What is an ethical transgression?
Maintaining confidentiality

Ethical transgressions are dishonest actions. One of the most known ethical transgressions is maintaining confidentiality. This is a very clear ethical value in most jobs. For example, doctors are held to HIPPA laws that require they maintain confidentiality by not discussing their patients unless that patient has signed a release stating it is ok to share their information. Doctors may face dilemmas that challenge this law. An example could be if a doctor tells a patient’s diagnosis to someone who is visiting the patient. If the patient has not told the doctor it is ok to discuss their diagnosis then that doctor broke the law. Maybe a doctor would feel it was necessary to share the information so the patient could have some help but the doctor cannot share anything without permission. Students attend classes in graduate school to learn how to follow ethical guidelines so they are prepared for these situation (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 1998).
What ethical traits, concepts, and principles are presented in this article?
Ethical concepts in the article;
Professional boundaries

Ethical traits guide people in their everyday life and in making decisions that are founded on ethical beliefs. Some situations highly test a person’s ethical and moral values. What someone decides makes up the kind of a person they are and how far they are willing to go to achieve a solution to a specific problem. Ethical traits are the guiding principles governing a certain code of behavior. Several ethical traits can be mentioned in regard to the article some of which are confidentiality, professional boundaries (Fly et al., 1997).Minor things can force people to compromise their basic principles. Education ethics should be able to emphasize on issues regarding confidentiality and professional boundaries. In this case, there was a failure to maintain the confidentiality of the other people. A good example is when a student transporting files that involved confidential information for fellow students left them in a public place and they were lost. Students should also not engage in conversations of a romantic or intimate manner with clients, supervisors or fellow students especially if the conversation is of harassing nature.
How was the chosen ethical issue an example of poor ethical decision making?
The violation of confidentiality is detrimental to the wellbeing of the patient as it breaks the trust they have with their care providers. Without trust, a proper treatment plan cannot be implemented as the patient is less likely to tell the whole truth.

People trust psychologist not to talk about or share their information without informed consent. Not taking care of patient records and securing them is another example of breech of confidentiality. When people feel that their confidentiality has been breached, they will no longer trust psychologist. Without trust the patient will not divulge all of the information to the psychologist. Without the all of the information, the psychologist cannot recommend a proper treatment for the patient. Not to mention, breaches of confidentiality are violations of APA ethical standards, federal law, and some local laws.
What ethical reasoning strategies could have helped in this situation?
Strategies include

Making ethical decisions does not always come easy for most people. As a matter of fact, most situations pose a dilemma to the people making the decisions. For instance, as illustrated before, most situations test a person’s ethical and moral values, most of which are highly personal. Therefore, in order to make ethical decisions, there are certain ethical strategies that can be applied. They are often based on virtue, utility, rights and finally justice. By applying virtue in reasoning, one gets to consider their values and personal character. This will guide them into making decisions based on their courage, faith or hope. On the other hand, using utility as a strategy allows a person to gauge the amount of good that can be produced by a decision. It is like using the cost benefit analysis. Rights is also a strategy that can be used to reason ethically by considering that people are entitled to something. Finally, justice allows a person to think ethically by distributing the benefits and burdens equally and according to accepted rule.
In this case, to address the ethical transgressions of School Psychology Graduate Students, all the above strategies can be applied in one way or another, but that involving utility is perhaps the most applicable. Stopping dishonesty among these students will bring more happiness to all stakeholders involved in the school (Tryon, 2000). The directors will be able to run the school effectively and efficiently, in a manner that is transparent, and above all, ethical.
Fly, B. J., van Bark, W. P., Weinman, L., Kitchener, K. S., & Lang, P. R. (1997). Ethical transgressions of psychology graduate students: Critical incidents with implications for training. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 28(5), 492. Retrieved from
Koocher, G. P., & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1998). Ethics in psychology: Professional standards and cases (2nd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press
Tryon, G. S. (2000). Ethical transgressions of school psychology graduate students: A critical incidents survey. Ethics & Behavior, 10(3), 271-279.


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