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PSYCH 660 UOP W5 Intimate Partner Violence and The Duty to Protect Case Study

Read Case Study 4 in the text.

Case 4. Research on Intimate Partner Violence and the Duty to ProtectDr. Daniela Yeung, a health psychologist, has been conducting a federally funded ethnographic study of couples in which the male partner has been paroled following conviction and imprisonment for intimate partner violence (IPV). Over the course of a year, she has had individual monthly interviews with 25 couples while one partner was in jail and following their release. Aiden is a 35-year-old male parolee convicted of seriously injuring his wife. He and his wife, Maya, have been interviewed by Dr. Yeung on eight occasions. The interviews have covered a range of personal topics including Aiden’s problem drinking, which is marked by blackouts and threatening phone calls made to his wife when he becomes drunk, usually in the evening. To her knowledge, Aiden has never followed through on these threats. Dr. Yeung has the impression both Aiden and Maya feel a sense of social support when discussing their life with Dr. Yeung. One evening Dr. Yeung checks her answering machine and finds a message from Aiden. His words are slurred and angry: “Now that you know the truth about what I am you know that there is nothing you can do to help the evil inside me. The bottle is my savior and I will end this with them tonight.” She calls both Aiden’s and Maya’s cell phone numbers, but no one answers.Ethical DilemmaDr. Yeung has Aiden’s address, and after 2 hours, she is considering whether or not to contact emergency services to suggest that law enforcement officers go to Aiden’s home or to the homes of his parents and girlfriend.Discussion QuestionsWhy is this an ethical dilemma? Which APA Ethical Principles help frame the nature of the dilemma?Who are the stakeholders, and how will they be affected by how Dr. Yeung resolves this dilemma?Does this situation meet the standards set by the Tarasoff decision’s “duty to protect” statute (see Chapter 7)? How might whether or not Dr. Yeung’s state includes researchers under such a statute influence Dr. Yeung’s ethical decision making? How might the fact that Dr. Yeung is a research psychologist without training or licensure in clinical practice influence the ethical decision?In addressing this dilemma, should Dr. Yeung consider how her decision may affect the completion of her research (e.g., the confidentiality concerns of other participants)?How are APA Ethical Standards 2.01f, 3.04, 3.06, 4.01, 4.02, 4.05, and 8.01 relevant to this case? Which other standards might apply?What are Dr. Yeung’s ethical alternatives for resolving this dilemma? Which alternative best reflects the Ethics Code aspirational principles and enforceable standards, legal standards, and obligations to stakeholders? Can you identify the ethical theory (discussed in Chapter 3) guiding your decision?What steps should Dr. Yeung take to implement her decision and monitor its effect?Suggested ReadingsAppelbaum, P., & Rosenbaum, A. (1989). Tarasoff and the researcher: Does the duty to protect apply in the research setting? American Psychologist, 44(6), 885–894.Fisher, C. B. (2011). Addiction research ethics and the Belmont principles: Do drug users have a different moral voice? Substance Use & Misuse, 46(6), 728–741.Gable, L. (2009). Legal challenges raised by non-intervention research conducted under high-risk circumstances. In D. Buchanan, C. B. Fisher, & L. Gable (Eds.). Research with high-risk populations: Balancing science, ethics, and law (pp. 47–74). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.Paavilainen, E., Lepisto, S., & Flinck, A. (2014). Ethical issues in family violence research in healthcare settings. Nursing Ethics, 21, 43–52.

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