- Center for Ethical Practice - https://centerforethicalpractice.org -

Protecting Confidentiality Rights

When May you Disclose Client Information?
When May You Refuse to Disclose?
When MUST You Refuse to Disclose?

This workshop is based on a 6-step Ethical Practice Model that integrates ethical and legal obligations about confidentiality and guides decisions about disclosure.


I. Ethical Standards & Professional Guidelines

A. Does Your Ethics Code Contain The Answers You Need?

B. Where Else Do You Go for Ethical Advice About Confidentiality & Disclosure?

II. Legal Requirements:  Which Ones Apply To You?   What Are Their Ethical Implications?

A. Virginia Licensing Board Regulations

B. State Agency Regulations

C. Virginia Statutes

D. Federal Regulations – HIPAA Privacy Rule & Security Rule

E. Federal Statute – Public Law 92-255 (re: substance abuse records)

F. Legally-Binding Contracts with Managed Care Organizations & Other Third Parties

III. Integrating the Ethical & Legal Responsibilities

A. When May You Disclose Without the Client’s Consent?

B. When May You Refuse to Disclose?

C. When Must You Refuse to Disclose?

VI. Keeping The Focus Ethical As You Create Your Own Confidentiality & Disclosure Policies

A. How Much Ethical & Legal Freedom Do You Have for “Individualizing” Policies?

B. What Might Keep You From Doing So?

C. What Help or Support Do You Need for Doing So?

D. Using An Ethical Practice Model

1. Preparing

2. Informing Clients & Obtaining Consent

3. Limiting Disclosures Without Consent to Extent Legally Possible

4. Responding Ethically to Legal Demands

5. Avoiding “Avoidable” Breaches of Confidentiality

6. Talking About Confidentiality Issues

Educational Goals:
1. Describe some of your ethical and legal responsibilities about confidentiality.
2. List clients’ rights if confidentiality will be “conditional” rather than absolute.
3. Describe the process of obtaining a client’s informed consent to accept confidentiality ‘s limits..
4. Consider how a structured practice model can help protect clients’ confidentiality rights.