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Ethical and Legal Considerations for Psychiatry Regarding Adolescents and Technology Use 

Ethical and Legal Considerations for Psychiatry Regarding Adolescents and Technology Use
Chapter:
Ethical and Legal Considerations for Psychiatry Regarding Adolescents and Technology Use
Author(s):

Ariel Seroussi

, Daniel Bonnici

, Gregory B. Leong

, and Robert Weinstock

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199945597.003.0014
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date: 18 November 2019

This chapter will focus on the ethical and legal considerations regarding technology and the Internet as they relate to adolescents and the psychiatrists who treat them. We will survey the historical and present approaches to biomedical ethics that inform our approaches to treating psychiatric patients, and specifically children and adolescents. A discussion of legal precedents regarding adolescents and mental health will follow, along with a primer on scientific research regarding the nature of adolescent brain and behavioral development. Finally, we will describe specific areas of ethical relevance where technology and the doctor–patient relationship intersect, with particular attention to psychiatrists treating adolescents. Among these areas are ethical dilemmas related to the use of social networking sites, search engines, and email communication, which have received significant attention in academic literature and popular culture. This chapter elucidates situations that deserve heightened attention from clinicians, provides suggestions for the identification of ethical facts to consider in clinical scenarios, and outlines different approaches to clinical and ethical decision making.

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