Malpractice arising from negligent psychotherapy: Ethical, legal, and clinical implications of Osheroff V. chestnut Lodge
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Ethics and Behavior 4 (3):175 – 197 (1994)
Traditionally, there have been few legal actions brought against psychotherapists that allege negligent psychotherapy and negligent treatment of psychiatric disorders. However, in the case of Osheroff v. Chestnut Lodge, a patient-physician (Dr. OsheroE) sued Chestnut Lodge, a private psychiatric facility, for negligence based on the staff's decision to apply a psychodynamic model of treatment (through psychotherapy) and not a biological model. The case sparked a heated debate between adherents of the psychodynamic model and those of the biological model. This article explores the implications of the Osheroff litigation for mental health professionals. It is proposed that an interactive informed consent process be used to protect psychotherapists against Osheroff-type litigation.
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Jay Katz (1984/2002). The Silent World of Doctor and Patient. Johns Hopkins University Press.
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