Specific ethical codes for mental health care professionals: Do we need to annotate?

Tal Bergman-Levy, Oren Asman, Eyal Dahan, Binyamin Greenberg, Shmuel Hirshmann, Rael Strous

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: In Israel a general code of ethics exists for physicians, drafted by the Israel Medical Association. The question arises whether psychiatrists require a separate set of ethical guidelines. Objectives: To examine the positions of Israeli psychiatrists with regard to ethics in general and professional ethics in particular, and to explore opinions regarding a code of ethics or ethical guidelines for psychiatry. Methods: A specially designed questionnaire was compiled and completed by psychiatrists recruited for the study. Results: Most participants reported low levels of perceived knowledge regarding ethics, professional ethics, and the general code of ethics. Older and more experienced professionals reported a higher level of knowledge. Most psychiatrists agreed or strongly agreed with the need for a distinct code of ethics/ethical guidelines for psychiatrists. This support was significantly higher among both psychiatrists under 50 years and residents. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that the existing code of ethics and position papers may not be sufficient, indicating a potential need to develop and implement a process to create the ethical code itself. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of ethics education, suggesting that the need for a code of ethics is more urgent in the early stages of professional training, as younger professionals may be more exposed to advanced media technology. While some may fear that a distinct code of ethics will distance psychiatry from modern medicine, others assert that the profession combines aspects from the humanities and social sciences that require a unique sort of management and thus this profession requires a distinct code of ethics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-460
Number of pages7
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume18
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Annotations
  • Ethics code
  • Guidelines
  • Medical ethics
  • Mental health

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Specific ethical codes for mental health care professionals: Do we need to annotate?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this