In this weeks discussion, we are required to compare the treatment of adult psychiatric emergency clients to a child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients. Furthermore, to analyze legal and ethical issues concerning the treatment of a child or adolescent psychiatric emergency clients. Psychiatric emergencies encompass situations in which an individual cannot refrain from acting in a manner that is dangerous to him or herself or others. Psychiatric emergency also requires immediate therapeutic intervention(Sadock, Sadock, & Ruiz, 2014). In an emergency situation, the initial assessment focuses on factors that elevate the patient’s risk of intentional or unintentional danger. In addition to assertions of suicidal or homicidal ideation, expressions of hopelessness, and psychomotor agitation (Sadock, Sadock, & Ruiz, 2014).
D.I is a 54-year old Caucasian male, a computer programmer, was brought in the psychiatric crises center by his mother due to suicide attempt. The client tried to jump off a bridge. D.I at the time arrived at the center in tears, stating that he has had suicidal thoughts after losing his job during corporate restructuring. He has been divorced for the past six months. He is currently homeless and having feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Another client who was also brought in the psychiatric crisis center is P.E. a 17-year old Hispanic female who came due to a suicide attempt. P.E had a self-reported history of depressive disorder and alcohol abuse. Patient presented to the center for level one trauma for suicidal self-inflicted knife wound to the neck. Patient states ‘I wanted it to be over.’ She endorses suicide attempt in context of numerous stressors. P.E. stated that she was recently, sexually abused and reports feeling of hopeless, has poor appetite, difficulty sleep and low energy.
In every case of self-destructive behavior or attempted suicide, emergency management should include the provision of immediate medical or psychiatric care(Wright, & McGlen, 2013). For both patients, proper management of the crises should be implemented immediately. As a mental health practitioner, it will be imperative to assess risk factors triggering current episodes. If patient D.I. is a child or adolescent, he will require consent from his mother to start treatment. Traditionally, the law has considered minors to be incompetent to give consent to medical treatment (Frank, Gupta, & McGlynn, 2016). A parent or legal guardian must consent to the treatment of a minor. The mental health practitioner may involve his parents in the treatment plan, which will necessitate sharing certain confidential information without obtaining consent from the patient (Wright, & McGlen, 2013).
Legal or ethical issues considerations
Mental health practitioners are required to exercise extreme caution in their decision-making to decrease their risk of legal and ethical liabilities. Ethically, safety considerations should be the utmost priority when treating child and adolescent population. Informed consent should be obtained from a legal guardian when starting treatment with antidepressant or psychotropic drugs for adolescent clients with depressive symptoms(Frank, Gupta, & McGlynn, 2016). P.E. the 17-year old Hispanic female client who attempted suicide due to depression and hopelessness may required treatment with an antidepressant or psychotropic drugs. Patient and family education about the associated risks and benefits of drug treatment is also an ethical requirement.
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