Boundary Violation Ethics: Some Conceptual Clarifications.

J. Radden,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law 29(3): 319-326, 2001.
The practices of both forensic psychiatry and clinical psychiatry appear to require and to use, in boundary-violation discourse, a special way of referring to the heightened attention to the ethics of interpersonal exchange. But this discourse and the judgments it expresses are each in need of closer scrutiny. A variety of factors make the determination of certain actions to be boundary violations unclear, including the range of alleged boundary-violating behavior, ambiguities in the fundamental metaphor of boundaries violated or transgressed, and confusion about the explanatory status of the value judgments boundary-violation language is used to express. In addition, disputes and disagreements regarding boundary-violation judgments require analysis-- an analysis undertaken in this article through appeal to theories of professional role morality. Noted also is the significance of gender in boundary-violation ethics.