Professional ethics of psychologists and physicians: Mortality, confidentiality, and sexuality in Israel

Ethics and Behavior 6 (3):213 – 238 (1996)
Clinical psychologists' and nonpsychiatric physicians' attitudes and behaviors in sexual and confidentiality boundary violations were examined. The 171 participants' responses were analyzed by profession, sex, and status (student, resident, professional) on semantic differential, boundary violation vignettes, and a version of Pope, Tabachnick, and Keith-Spiegel's (1987) ethical scale. Psychologists rated sexual boundary violation as more unethical than did physicians (p<.001). Rationale (p<.01) and timing (p<.001) influenced ratings. Psychologists reported fewer sexualized behaviors than physicians (p<05). Professional experience (p<.01) and sex (p<.05) were associated with confidence-violating behavior. Overall, 78% of the sample reported attitudes or behaviors associated with boundary violations. The behavior violations were correlated (r=.49). Actual violators rated vignette violators more leniently than did nonviolators (p<.01).
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