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Ethics and clinical practice in psychiatry 

Ethics and clinical practice in psychiatry
Chapter:
Ethics and clinical practice in psychiatry
Author(s):

Julio Torales

, César Ruiz-Díaz

, and Dinesh Bhugra

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198723646.003.0022
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date: 22 October 2021

As in other fields of medicine, ethics in psychiatry can centre on many different activities, the aim always being to generate behaviour in accordance with societal customs, cultural norms, individual values and beliefs, and respect for human dignity. Psychiatry has not reached a universal consensus concerning an optimal theoretical framework for ethical decision making in clinical practice. Additionally, certain issues related to mental healthcare suggest that ethics for psychiatry differ from the principles of bioethics applicable to all fields of medicine. All psychiatrists should take into account that ethical reflection and reasoning needs equal consideration of ethical principles and codes, as well as of the consequences of any decision. Furthermore, psychiatrists need to be aware that the ethical reasoning process may lead them to the conclusion that their own position, no matter how heartfelt, may not be the most convincing.

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