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Ethical Violation – Intimacy with an Admitted Patient

Ethical Violation – Intimacy with an Admitted Patient

Situation For Which The Professional Received A Complaint

The complaint was filed against Leanh D. Nguyen, a licensed clinical psychologist in New York, for a significant ethical infraction involving a consenting intimate involvement with a patient. Dr. Nguyen admitted to the charge, which violated a sexual boundary (New, 2020). This severely violates professional ethics in psychology, as it undermines the trust and ethical norms anticipated between mental health providers and their clients. The complaint against Dr. Nguyen emphasizes the need to keep clear professional boundaries to preserve patients’ well-being and emotional safety. Engaging in romantic or sexual relationships with patients is deemed unethical and is prohibited to protect the therapeutic relationship’s integrity and the profession’s ethical standards.

This case emphasizes mental health practitioners’ obligation to maintain the highest ethical standards in their practice while prioritizing their patients’ well-being and confidence. Dr. Nguyen’s admission to the infraction resulted in disciplinary action by the licensing board, such as license suspension or revocation, as well as potential legal ramifications. The case serves as a reminder of the strict laws in place to protect clients’ interests and safety in the mental health field and the severe penalties that can arise from crossing these ethical boundaries.

Whether Any Of Those Reported Were Due To A Failure To Do Something

Dr. Leanh D. Nguyen’s case is mainly about a violation connected to participating in an inappropriate romantic relationship with a patient, an action the doctor takes rather than failing to perform a specified obligation. Mental health licensing organizations often focus on infractions involving actions or behaviors that directly violate ethical norms, such as engaging in client relationships, rather than omissions or failures to fulfill professional tasks(Reamer, 2019). Violations involving neglect or inability to give adequate care typically fall within the purview of several regulatory authorities or legal frameworks.

In Dr. Leanh D. Nguyen’s case, the licensing agency granted an application for a consent order. As a result of this consent order, a penalty was agreed upon. The sentence included an indefinite suspension of at least one year, which would endure until Dr. Nguyen was deemed fit to practice again. Dr. Nguyen was placed on probation for two years after the suspension was lifted, which was to begin once they returned to active practice (The PsychCrime Database –, n.d.). Dr. Nguyen was disciplined in response to her admission of having a consenting romantic relationship with a patient, which is a significant ethical infraction in psychology. The suspension and probationary period were designed to guarantee that Dr. Nguyen got adequate oversight and review to protect the well-being and trust of future clients while respecting professional ethics standards.

Do You Think The Violations Are Easy Ones To Make? Or Was The Clinician Simply Irresponsible

Dr. Leanh D. Nguyen’s infractions, notably participating in a consensual love relationship with a patient that resulted in a sexual boundary violation, are not easy to perpetrate but indicate a significant breach of professional ethics in psychology. Mental health practitioners are well aware of the solid ethical norms and boundaries that govern their contact with clients, which include the prohibition of engaging in any romantic or sexual relationship with a patient(Huzij, 2022). Dr. Nguyen’s actions are irresponsible since they opted to breach these established ethical standards, which are in place to preserve the emotional well-being and confidence of vulnerable patients seeking psychiatric care. Rather than mere mistakes, these transgressions represent a clear divergence from anticipated professional behavior and demonstrate a lack of accountability for their profession’s ethical standards.


Huzij, T. (2022). The Touch Taboo: Origins for the Prohibition of Touch in Psychiatry and a Rational Osteopathic Approach. The AAO Journal, 32(4), 19–32.

New. (2020). New York – Disciplined Psychologists.

Reamer, F. (2019). The Ethics of Whistle Blowing. Faculty Publications.

The PsychCrime Database – (n.d.). Retrieved September 24, 2023, from


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Ethical Violation - Intimacy with an Admitted Patient

Ethical Violation – Intimacy with an Admitted Patient

Assessment Description
Note: Do not make phone calls to the state behavioral health board for this assignment.

Examine the website of your state’s (New York City) behavioral health licensing agency and find their listing of clinicians that have been cited for wrongdoing. Read the list of therapists who have been brought before the board for violations and what violations are cited.

Describe the situation for which the professional received a complaint.
Identify whether any of those reported were due to a failure to do something that she/he should have done.
Do you think the violations are easy ones to make? Or was the clinician simply “irresponsible” to do what they did?
This paper should be 300-600 words in length. Be sure to cite the source.

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