Ethical Guideline(s) Addressed in this Case:
(a) “Behavior analysts are truthful and honest. The behavior analyst follows through on obligations and professional commitments with high quality work and refrains from making professional commitments that he/she cannot keep” (p. 60).
2.10: Treatment Efficacy
(a) “The behavior analyst always had the responsibility to recommend scientifically supported most effective treatment procedures. Effective treatment procedures have been validated as having both long-term and short-term benefits to clients and society” (p. 87).
(b) “Clients have a right to effective treatment (i.e., based on the research literature and adapted to the individual client)” (p. 87).
(c) “Behavior analyst are responsible for review and appraisal of likely effects of all alternative treatments, including those provided by other disciplines and no intervention” (p. 87).
(d) “In those instances where more than one scientifically supported treatment has been established, additional factors may be considered in selecting interventions, including, but not limited to, efficiency and cost-effectiveness, risks and side-effects of the interventions, client preference, and practitioner experience and training” (p. 88).
3.05: Describing Program Objectives
“The behavior analyst describes, in writing, the objectives of the behavior change program to the client or client-surrogate before attempting to implement the program. And to the
Team Discussion: Lesson 3 2
extent possible, a risk-benefit analysis should be conducted on the procedure to be implemented to reach the objective” (p. 114-115).
4.0: The Behavior Analyst and the Individual Behavior Change Program
“The behavior analyst (a) designs programs that are based on behavior analytic principles, including assessments of effect of other intervention methods, (b) involves the client or the client-surrogate in the planning of such programs, (c) obtains the consent of the client, and (d) respects the right of the client to terminate services at any time” (p. 120).
“The behavior analyst must obtain the client’s or client-surrogate’s approval in writing of the behavior intervention procedures before implementing them” (p. 122-123).
4.08: Program Modifications
“The behavior analyst modifies the program on the basis of data” (p. 126).
4.09: Program Modification Consent
“The behavior analyst explains program modification and the reasons for the modifications to the client or client-surrogate and obtains consent to implement the modifications” (p. 126).
7.0 The Behavior Analyst’s Ethical Responsibility to the Field of Behavior Analysis.
“The behavior analyst has a responsibility to support the values of the field, to disseminate knowledge to the public, to be familiar with these guidelines, and to discourage misrepresentation by non-certified individuals” (p. 159).
9.01 Promotion in Society
“The behavior analyst should promote the application of behavior principles in society by presenting a behavioral alternative to other procedures or methods” (p. 175).
Resolve the issue:
The behavior analyst should take data on her observation in the classroom so he/she is able to support her thoughts about the point-sheet not working. After she has gathered enough data she should meet with the parents and discuss her findings. He/She could also meet with both parents and clinical psychologist to discuss her findings on the point-sheet not being effective and the reasons she thinks it might not be working (maybe its not reinforcing anymore). He/She can also suggest a new intervention plan, based on evidence based methods and adapt the point sheet to it if the parents are adamant about having an intervention based on it.
Team Discussion: Lesson 3 3
Case Study #22:
Primary Ethical Issue: The behavior analysts are promoting and helping to implement behavior interventions that are not evidence based. Their reasoning is that “if it doesn’t hurt anyone or my services then I don’t need to worry about it being unethical”.