Mental Health Ethics: The Human Context, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Mental Health Ethics

The Human Context, 1st Edition

Edited by Phil Barker


378 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415571005
pub: 2010-11-01
Hardback: 9780415570992
pub: 2010-11-08
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203839058
pub: 2010-11-09
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All human behaviour is, ultimately, a moral undertaking, in which each situation must be considered on its own merits. As a result ethical conduct is complex. Despite the proliferation of Codes of Conduct and other forms of professional guidance, there are no easy answers to most human problems. Mental Health Ethics encourages readers to heighten their awareness of the key ethical dilemmas found in mainstream contemporary mental health practice.

This text provides an overview of traditional and contemporary ethical perspectives and critically examines a range of ethical and moral challenges present in contemporary ‘psychiatric-mental’ health services. Offering a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective, it includes six parts, each with their own introduction, summary and set of ethical challenges, covering:

  • fundamental ethical principles;
  • legal issues;
  • specific challenges for different professional groups;
  • working with different service user groups;
  • models of care and treatment;
  • recovery and human rights perspectives.

Providing detailed consideration of issues and dilemmas, Mental Health Ethics helps all mental health professionals keep people at the centre of the services they offer.


‘I was personally fairly familiar with and committed to the underlying thesis and found much that resonated with my values. That is, the essence of ethical practice is a lot about values, but values demonstrated rather than merely espoused. After reading this text, I felt better able to articulate the issues and found myself recommending it (or particular chapters) to students. It deserves a wide readership, as it will surely assist people to develop ethical sensitivity and importantly to ponder the important questions that confront anyone working within mental health services.’ – Journal of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

'Well written, accessible and thought provoking…if you are undertaking any study that stimulates discussion around the working practices of your profession, a great deal of what it contains will be relevant despite the mental health emphasis.' MIDIRS

'Represents a considerable addition to the literature in this field.'Nursing Ethics

Table of Contents

Section 1: Ethics and Mental Health 1. Ethics: In Search of the Good Life Phil Barker 2. The Keystone of Psychiatric Ethics Phil Barker 3. Who Cares Any More, Anyway? Phil Barker Section 2: The Professional Context 4. The Psychiatrist Duncan Double 5. The Mental Health Nurse Tony Warne, Sue McAndrew and Dawn Gawthorpe 6. The Social Worker Shula Ramon 7. The Clinical Psychologist Lucy Johnstone 8. The Therapist Phil Barker 9. The Occupational Therapist Lesley Brady 10. The Chaplain Kevin Franz Section 3: Care and Treatment 11. Psychiatric Diagnosis Phil Barker 12. Professional Relationships Vince Mitchell 13. Restraint Brodie Patterson 14. ECT and Consent Phil Barker 15. Medication Austyn Snowden Section 4: The Human Context 16. Acute care Jan Horsfall, Michelle Cleary, Glenn E Hunt and Garry Walter 17. Forensic Care Tom Mason 18. Addictions Jeffrey Schaler 19. Younger people in mental health care Tim McDougall 20. Older people in mental health care Elizabeth Collier and Natali Yates-Bolton 21. Race and culture Suman Fernando 22. Suicide John Cutcliffe and Paul Links Section 5: Legal Issues 23. Mental Health Law in England and Wales Tony Warne and Sue McAndrew 24. Mental Health Law in Ireland Denis Ryan and Agnes Higgins 25. Mental Health Law in Scotland Robert Davidson 26. Advance Directives Jacqueline Atkinson 27. The Insanity Defence and Diminished Responsibility Tom Mason Section 6: Ideologal Issues 28. Talk about Recovery Poppy Buchanan-Barker 29. Illusion, Individuality and Autonomy Craig Newnes 30. Ethics - The Elephant in the Room Phil Barker

About the Editor

Phil Barker is a psychotherapist in private practice and a Director of Clan Unity International, a mental health recovery consultancy. He is also Honorary Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing, University of Dundee, UK.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Allied Health Services / General
MEDICAL / Ethics
MEDICAL / Nursing / Mental Health
MEDICAL / Nursing / Psychiatric