Ethics and Behavior 1 (3):175 – 189 (1991)
This article reviews key philosophical and legal underpinnings of mental health professionals' obligation to obtain informed consent from consumers of their services. The basic components of informed consent are described, and strategies for clinically and ethically appropriate methods of obtaining informed consent are discussed. Emerging issues in informed consent involving duty to assess and protect against client dangerousness, obligations to third parties, and issues of deception are considered as well. The article proposes that part of the process of obtaining informed consent is the cultivation of a treatment environment that emphasizes beneficence and client autonomy.
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