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Ethical and Legal Foundations of PMHNP Care

Ethical and Legal Foundations of PMHNP Care

Patients have the right to make educated choices about their own medical treatment without having those choices affected by the professionals who treat them. This is referred to as patient autonomy. Patients who are given the opportunity to exercise their autonomy over their own healthcare are given the chance to feel more in charge of their situation and more secure in their capacity to make informed choices about their health and select the appropriate healthcare providers. The concept of autonomy may be approached from both a legal and an ethical stance, both of which will be investigated during the course of this paper.

Autonomy in Adults

Ethical Considerations

According to Karlawish et al. (2020), the concept of autonomy provides adult patients with the freedom to choose the treatment method that is most suited for them. The authors also highlight the fact that healthcare practitioners are obligated to honor patients’ autonomy by exhibiting transparency and openness in information, as well as regard for patients’ beliefs, views, and decision-making abilities. Clinicians are also not allowed to use any kind of pressure on the patient in order to get them to make a choice.

Legal Considerations

It is essential to adhere to the legal framework of nursing practice in order to prevent any potential legal concerns that may arise during the provision of medical treatment. Varkey (2020) asserts that adults are generally believed to be able to make sensible choices regarding their health unless they are suffering from some kind of cognitive problem. In the event that a patient has a cognitive problem, the medical authority might be delegated to a different chosen person in order to promote compliance with the legal practice standards (Varkey, 2020).

Autonomy in Children and Adolescents

Ethical Considerations

When compared to adults, the concept of autonomy in children and adolescents differs significantly. According to Thompson (2020), the concept of autonomy controls influences activities in the process of getting informed permission from children and adolescents. Because of this, parents and guardians have a significant obligation to safeguard the independence of their children, seeing as how they are the primary decision-makers in matters pertaining to their children’s medical treatment. Nevertheless, Thompson (2020) points out that this must not warrant the infringement of their freedom to autonomy.

Legal Considerations

What constitutes the legal age is the primary factor that decides the legal implications of autonomy. In contrast to children, teenagers have undergone substantial brain growth, which increases their potential to make choices that are in their best interests (Parsapoor et al., 2017). Nevertheless, before adolescents hit adulthood, their parents or guardians continue to have authority over them when it comes to major choices about their medical treatment. According to Parsapoor et al. (2017), having power of attorney or being a parent gives a guardian or parent the ability to make choices about a child’s or teen’s health care on their behalf. Conversely, Parsapoor et al. (2017) go on to note that adolescents in certain jurisdictions have the right to anonymity and the ability to agree to certain healthcare services. These services include those dealing with sexually transmitted illnesses and contraceptives.


Karlawish, J. (2017). Assessment of decision-making capacity in adults. UpToDate. Retrieved March, 3, 2019.

Parsapoor, A., Parsapoor, M. B., Rezaei, N., & Asghari, F. (2017). Autonomy of children and adolescents in consent to treatment: ethical, jurisprudential and legal considerations. Iranian journal of pediatrics, 24(3), 241.

Thompson, H. (2020). Children’s Autonomy and Medical Decision Making. article=1164&context=studentresearch

Varkey, B. (2020). Principles of clinical ethics and their application to practice. Medical Principles and Practice.


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Discussion post: Choose one of the topics below.

APA style format with intext citation

4 three peer-reviewed references minimum within the last 5 years MUST INCLUDE A PDF OF EACH ARTICLE USE FOR THE SOURSES.

Turnitin report


Advanced practice nursing in all specialties is guided by codes of ethics that put the care, rights, duty, health, and safety of the patient first and foremost. PMHNP practice is also guided by ethical codes specifically for psychiatry. These ethical codes are frameworks to guide clinical decision-making; they are generally not prescriptive. They also represent the aspirational ideals for the profession. Laws, on the other hand, dictate the requirements that must be followed. In this way, legal codes may be thought to represent the minimum standards of care, and ethics represent the highest goals for care.

Ethical and Legal Foundations of PMHNP Care

Ethical and Legal Foundations of PMHNP Care

For this Discussion, you select a topic that has both legal and ethical implications for PMHNP practice and then perform a literature review on the topic. Your goal will be to identify the most salient legal and ethical facets of the issue for PMHNP practice and also how these facets differ in the care of adult patients versus children. Keep in mind as you research your issue that laws differ by state, and your clinical practice will be dictated by the laws that govern your state.

Select one of the below following ethical/legal topics:

Autonomy, Beneficence, Justice, Fidelity, Veracity, Involuntary hospitalization and due process of civil commitment, Informed assent/consent and capacity, Duty to warn, Restraints, HIPPA, Child and elder abuse reporting, Tort law, Negligence/malpractice

Locate a total of four scholarly, professional, or legal resources related to this topic. One should address ethical considerations related to this topic for adults, one should be on ethical considerations related to this topic for children/adolescents, one should be on legal considerations related to this topic for adults, and one should be on legal considerations related to this topic for children/adolescents.

Briefly identify the topic you selected. Then, summarize the articles you selected, explaining the most salient ethical and legal issues related to the topic as they concern psychiatric-mental health practice for children/adolescents and adults. Explain how this information could apply to your clinical practice, including specific implications for practice within your state. My state is Georgia, USA. Attach the PDFs of your articles.


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