NEW YORK — Celia Fisher, Ph.D., director of Fordham’s Center for Ethics Education, offers psychologists a step-by-step guide to understanding the American Psychological Association’s (APA) new Ethics Code in a recently released book titled Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists (Sage Publications, 2003).
Fisher, a professor of psychology, chaired the APA Ethics Code Task Force, which developed the revised code. The code, which provides guidance for ethical psychological practices, went into effect on June 1 and has been adopted as statutory law in most states.
“It is very important for psychologists to understand as quickly as possible what is required of them to conduct psychology responsibly,” Fisher said. “This is particularly true as the new codes go into effect around the same time as the Health Insurance Portability Act (HIPAA).”
HIPAA is the new federal regulation that guards the privacy of patients’ health information and protects individuals with previous illnesses from losing health insurance when changing jobs.
Decoding the Ethics Code serves as a guide and easy reference for many of the revised practices and language in the code. It supplies a history of the code, highlights sections that have been changed significantly and explains the implications of HIPAA on psychological practices.