In course of treating chronic diseases, physicians and psychotherapists face certain ethical challenges. Treatment is the process of mutual interaction between the client and the doctor, and success of the therapy depends on common understanding that emerges between the two parties. Termination of treatment is a serious step that shall be properly considered by both parties. Sometimes, termination is a necessary step that shall be taken for the sake of client’s well-being.
The treatment shall be terminated if the benefits from therapy are dubious, either of the sides can possibly be damaged by it, or if a patient no longer needs to proceed with medication. But what shall be done if the patient still requires current therapy but has no more money to pay for these services? Such a scenario is not very rare in the US where a considerable part of population still has no medical insurance. Patients with mental conditions tend to escape treatment because they anticipate financial troubles. For some of them, treatment may last for years, nevertheless, patients hope for the best starting their therapy.
Apparently, psychiatrists have no other option but to terminate client’s treatment if the latter cannot pay for services. Clinics are not charitable organizations, and therapists are not supposed to provide treatment for free. It may seem cruel or unethical towards low-income clients, but it is the way healthcare works in this country. And it will be useless to accuse doctors of violating their ethics because termination due to the client’s payment inability is not prescribed as a violation in documents issued by American Psychology Association.