Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB’s) Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts
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In your Unit 1 reading, you learned about a dark time in the early history of science. The abuses that came to light in 1972 at the Sunland Training Center brought about a collective “awakening” to realize that this new applied science needed a strong code of ethics and systems of oversight to protect clients, the field, and the professionals. What came out of this experience was a focused system of oversight and the ethical codes that would serve as the foundation of the Code that governs science and practice in the field today, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB’s) Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts.A woman in her 70s was admitted to the psychiatric ward of the local hospital to get her dosage of a strong medication under control. She misinterpreted her doctor’s instructions to take four pills per day (and up to six, if necessary). She took the majority of the medication at night to help her sleep. As a result, she was groggy and had slurred speech the next day, and doctors were concerned about injuries due to falling.
Her medication was for panic attacks that she often had in her sleep, so being placed in this challenging environment was frightening. The morning after her first night in the facility, a nurse came in and ordered her out of bed. The woman replied that it took her most of the night to fall asleep and said she still felt very tired. The nurse uttered some insults at her and pulled her out of bed.
Several core ethical guidelines are outlined on pages 1-4 of the Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts. Discuss the core guidelines that were violated in this case and present another approach to this woman’s treatment to align with these core guidelines.