ERIC Number: EJ779531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Reference Count: 0
When Does the "Duty to Protect" Apply with a Client Who has Anorexia Nervosa?
Werth, James L., Jr.; Wright, Kimberly S.; Archambault, Rita J.; Bardash, Rebekah, J.
Counseling Psychologist, v31 n4 p427-450 2003
Individuals with eating disorders, especially those with anorexia nervosa, have the potential to experience significant harm and even death as a result of behaviors related to their condition. Because of this risk, the authors argue that there is a duty to protect (i.e., an obligation to take some action when a person is engaging or considering engaging in a behavior that may lead to self-harm) when a client's anorexia-related behavior has progressed to the point of medical jeopardy--that is, her or his life is in danger. This article reviews information on anorexia, including mortality data; ethical and legal issues when a client is believed to be a harm-to-self; and the literature related to involuntary hospitalization and compulsory treatment of clients with anorexia. The article concludes with a set of guidelines for when the duty to protect when a client has anorexia nervosa begins and with suggestions for interventions.
Descriptors: Legal Problems, Eating Disorders, Guidelines, At Risk Persons, Counselor Role, Ethics, Mortality Rate, Counselor Client Relationship, Self Destructive Behavior
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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