Physician Wearing Two Hats and Patient's Best Interest (2)
Another important example of the kind of potential conflict of interest which can occur is written by Steven H. Berger, M.D. in the Psychiatric Times June 1998 Vol. XV Issue 6. It deals with the issue of ethics in forensic psychiatry. This excerpt describes the situations in which the conflict can occur.
"Dual agency also occurs when: 1) A company psychiatrist owes a treatment duty to his patient-an employee of the same company-and a simultaneous obligation to the company to return the patient to work immediately; 2) a military psychiatrist owes a treatment duty to his enlisted patient and a simultaneous duty to the military to maintain security; 3) a jail psychiatrist owes a treatment duty to his inmate patient (who is awaiting his trial) and a simultaneous duty to the state to get a confession from the inmate; 4) a state-employed psychiatrist owes a duty to the best interest of his death row patient and a simultaneous job assignment to get the execution done. Clearly, the two roles of the psychiatrist in these examples conflict with each other."
To read more about this example of a physician wearing "two hats" go to this link to read the entire article