Mixed message about the conflicting responsibilities of psychologists to their clients and society

[Speaker] Allan, Alfred:1
1:Edith Cowan University (Australia)

Psychologists must balance their responsibilities to different entities even when they diverge and therefore must be able to identify, understand and manage their responsibilities to different entities. Australian psychologists may, however, with reason find it difficult to fully understand their responsibilities in respect of their clients and society because governments and their agencies give them mixed messages about where they should place the emphasis. Whilst Freedom of Information Commissioners give strict interpretations to the provisions of privacy legislation that prohibits the disclosure of private information even when it appears that public safety may be at risk, other government agencies covertly and overtly put pressure on health practitioners to disclose private information to protect the public even where such risk is not clear. I will in this paper briefly review some of these practices and analyse them in an attempt to make coherent sense of them.
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