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Problems of Forensic Sciences 2017  Vol. 110 (CX)  153-167
 
THE PROFESSIONAL CONFIDENTIALITY OF A PSYCHOLOGIST AND THE OBLIGATION TO DENOUNCE UNDER ART. 240 OF THE PENAL CODE

Maciej BOCHEŃSKI
Kraków Bar Association, Poland
Streszczenie
Confidentiality is without doubt one of the most important principles when practising the profession of a psychologist. Apart from ethical codes, the law also guarantees quite solid protection of the professional secrecy of psychologists, including penalties for breaking the confidentiality rule. However, the same law (Polish Criminal Code), after a recent amendment, requires and forces psychologists (among others) to break the above mentioned rule in the case of having credible information about specified crimes. In such a case, the psychologist is obliged to reveal information about the client and report him/her to law enforcement authorities. The aim of this article is to analyze (on the basis of legal regulations) the relation between such a duty (and the public safety rule which is stipulated as the root of this obligation) and the confidentiality rule, to provide an answer as to which of the above-mentioned values is – in the light of Polish law – of paramount importance and which one has precedence. Such an interpretation can be helpful for psychologists to decide how to resolve conflicts between professional discretion and legal duties to report crimes.
Słowa kluczowe

Confidentiality; Psychology; Psychotherapy; Ethics; Criminal law.


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