For the following testing scenario, identify specific ethical considerations or potential
violations committed by Dr. Jefferson as discussed in your textbook and course manual. From
an ethical perspective, please consider what Dr. Jefferson has done well and what she could
have done differently. If there is a violation of the Canadian Psychological Ethical
Guidelines for Psychologists, provide recommendations for a more ethical practice (i.e., what
advice would you give to Dr. Jefferson?)
Dr. Jefferson lives and practices psychology in a rural area. She has been a registered
psychologist for 5 years (Ph.D. in Child Psychology) and her area of specialization is
anxiety disorders and depression. She began to provide psychotherapy to Mr. Giles, a 42-
year-old, who was dealing with depression. After three sessions, Mr. Giles suffered a
significant head injury while at work. His impairment is noticeable by Dr. Jefferson without
any type of testing, although she administers the Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological
Battery, just in case.
Mr. Giles’s co-worker, Cynthia, helped him find an attorney so that his rights are protected,
especially since the incident occurred at work. Dr. Jefferson had Mr. Giles sign a release
to talk with the attorney as well as Cynthia. From a phone call with the attorney, WSIB
(Workers Compensation) wants to work out a settlement, but the attorney has little
understanding regarding Mr. Giles’ level of impairment.
Mr. Giles demonstrates a variety of cognitive deficits. He needs assistance and monitoring
with daily tasks, such as home care, shopping, transportation, understanding the
settlement process, reading his mail, and paying his bills. He will likely need to go into an
assisted living facility. His family lives three provinces away and provides minimal help,
both emotionally and financially. Mr. Giles doesn't appear to understand his legal rights or
the settlement process.
Prior to providing extra-therapy support, Dr. Jefferson had Mr. Giles sign a document
explaining her fees for the additional services. She is not sure that he completely
understands what is happening or her version of informed consent for the additional
services. The psychologist has been doing much of the case management work on her
own, such as locating a long-time friend who is willing to help him at home, engaging in
lengthy discussions with his primary care physician and neurologist, participating in
multiple conversations with the attorney, and trying to find a guardian or power of attorney.
Over dinner and beers, she has also spoken at length to her partner, a neuropsychologist,
about how best to serve her client.