Mental Health Ethics : The Human Context book cover
1st Edition

Mental Health Ethics
The Human Context

Edited By

Phil Barker

ISBN 9780415571005
Published December 21, 2010 by Routledge
400 Pages

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Book Description

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.

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

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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.


‘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