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Principles of Ethics for Psychoanalysts (1975)
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PRINCIPLES OF ETHICS FOR PSYCHOANALYSTS
Approved by the Board on Professional Standards and the Executive Council May 1975 and affirmed by the membership with enabling By-Law amendments December 1975.
PRINCIPLES OF ETHICS FOR PSYCHOANALYSTS
Preamble. These principles are intended to aid psychoanalysts individually and collectively in maintaining a high level of ethical conduct. They are not laws, but standards by which a psychoanalyst may determine the propriety of his conduct in his relationship with patients, with colleagues, with students, with members of allied professions, and with the public.
Objectives of the profession and the individual psychoanalyst
Section 1. The principal objective of the profession of psychoanalysis is to offer a particular contribution to humanity, with full respect for enhancing the dignity of man. A psychoanalyst should strive continually to improve psychoanalytic knowledge and skill. He should make available to his patients and colleagues, as well as to physicians. to other qualified professional persons, and to students, the benefits of his professional attainments
Responsibilities to the Individual and to society
Section 2. The honored ideals of the profession of psychoanalysis imply that the responsibilities of the psychoanalyst extend primarily to the individual, but also to society; these secondary responsibilities deserve his interest and participation in activities which have the purpose of preserving and improving both the health and the well-being of the individual and the community. When the interests of his patient conflict with the welfare of the community at large, the psychoanalyst must weigh the consequences of any action and arrive at a judgment based on all considerations.
Treatment to have a scientific basis
Section 3. A psychoanalyst should practice a method of treatment founded on a scientific basis; and he should not knowingly and voluntarily endorse anyone who violates this principle.
General conduct of the psychoanalyst
Section 4. A psychoanalyst should be courteous, considerate, professional and ethical in all his relationships. He should observe all laws, uphold the dignity and honor of the profession, and accept its self imposed disciplines. He should accord members of allied professions the respect due their areas of competence.
Relationships with patients and colleagues
Section 5. A psychoanalyst should not solicit patients; he may choose whom he will treat. In an emergency, however, he should render service to the best of his ability unless he is of the opinion, based on his professional judgment, that it would be inappropriate or unwise to do so. In all situations, a psychoanalyst should merit the confidence of patients entrusted to his care, rendering to each a full measure of service. Having undertaken the care of a patient, he may not neglect him; and unless he has been discharged he may discontinue his services only after giving adequate notice. He should not render any professional service to the patient of a colleague, including therapists in allied professions, without that colleague's knowledge, unless, in his professional judgment, it would be in the best interests of the patient to do so. When he becomes aware that his patient is or has recently been in treatment with another therapist, he should ascertain that the patient has informed the other therapist of the consultation or desire for a change of therapists or, if the patient has not done so, obtain consent, if possible, to inform the other therapist himself as soon as may be practicable. He should however, recognize and respect the patient's right to terminate a relationship, including psychoanalytic treatment. and/or seek consultation or advice from others. In professional relationships the first responsibility of the psychoanalyst is to the patient.
Protection of confidentiality
Section 6. Except as required by law, a psychoanalyst may not reveal the confidences entrusted to him in the course of his professional work, or the particularities that he may observe in the characters of patients. Should he be required by a court of law to give testimony relating to the confidences of his patient, he should make use of all legal means to safeguard his patient's right to confidentiality.
Emoluments for services
Section 7. A psychoanalyst should not dispose of his services under terms or conditions which tend to interfere with or impair the free and complete exercise of his professional judgment and skill or tend to cause a deterioration of the quality of psychoanalytic care. The relationship between a patient and the psychoanalyst may be turned to account solely for therapeutic purposes; the psychoanalyst should seek no personal advantage from such relationship other than his fee. His fee should be commensurate with the service rendered and the patient's ability to pay. tie should neither pay nor receive a commission for referral of patients. In the clinical practice of psychoanalysis a psychoanalyst should limit the source of his income to services actually rendered by him, or under his supervision, to his patients.
Dispensing of drugs
Section 8. To the extent permitted by law, drugs or remedies may be dispensed, supplied, or prescribed by the psychoanalyst provided he is a licensed physician and such action is appropriate to the treatment and done in the best interests of the patient.
Section 9. A psychoanalyst should seek consultation in doubtful or. difficult cases, at the patient's request or on his own initiative. whenever it appears that the quality of cam may be enhanced thereby.
Sexual Misconduct in Relation to patients
Section 10. The necessary intensity of the therapeutic relationship in analysis may tend to activate sexual and other needs and fantasies on the part of both patient and therapist, while weakening the objectivity necessary for control. Nevertheless, sexual relationships between analyst and patient are inconsistent with treatment and damaging psychologically to both. If drive regulation and control are not possible for the psychoanalyst under the impact of stimulation in the analytic situation, he should transfer the patient to another analyst and seek treatment himself. The occurrence of sexual activities with the patient is a violation of this principle of ethical conduct and is compounded by failure to take the remedial steps mentioned.
Remedial measures for the psychoanalyst
Section 11. When disorder within the psychoanalyst, however evidenced, is threatening or disturbing to the quality of his work, he should avail himself promptly of remedial measures.
Safeguarding the public and the profession
Section 12. Each psychoanalyst should endeavor to safeguard the public and the profession of psychoanalysis against psychoanalysts deficient in moral character or professional competence. He should expose, without hesitation, in an ethical fashion and through appropriate channels, illegal or unethical conduct of fellow members of the profession.