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Legislation Governing The Roles Of Psychologists In The State Of Illinois

544 words - 3 pages

The day upon which this composition is to be submitted, precisely 313 days will have passed since Illinois Senate Bill 2187 of the 98th General Assembly was referred to the appropriate House committee for consideration (IL-SB 2187, 2013); the bill, first filed in February of 2013, seeks to amend existing legislation governing the roles of psychologists in order to afford qualified clinicians in Illinois the authority to issue pharmaceutical prescriptions to patients under their care ("Prescriptive Authority for Psychologists," 2014). Although the proverbial wheels change tend to move slowly in the direction of progress, to date psychologists in Louisiana, New Mexico, and the U.S. Territory of Guam who hold the appropriate credentials may prescribe and administer psychopharmaceutical medication for the treatment of psychologically-related disorders (Fox et al., 2009). Considered in light of the preponderantly ...view middle of the document...

At the outset, proponents argue, affording this privilege to specially trained clinicians would reduce the injustice caused by a lack of qualified psychiatrists and the resultant deficiency of access to essential services across many parts of the country (National Alliance on Mental Illness [NAMI], 2002). Consistent with principles outlined in the APA’s Code of Ethics, “psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures and services being conducted by psychologists,” ("APA Ethics Code," 2010, Principle D). Particularly in light of current social and economic circumstances under which many individuals rely on public mental health systems for treatment, enlarging the scope of the psychologist’s treatment arsenal would in turn allow increased access to care for a greater number of persons – including those in rural settings – as well as more timely alleviation of discomfort (Heiby, DeLeon, & Anderson, 2004).
Although concerns have been raised over the potential harm that would result furnishing prescription privileges to therapists with insufficient training in medicine and pharmacology, as mentioned previously, this capacity would be modulated by educational and experiential requirements. In effect, the contrary result of enhancing competency in the field would materialize as the preparation for psychotropic prescription licensure is more extensive than that undertaken by the average general practitioner or other non-physicians with prescription privileges such as optometrists, nurse practitioners, or pharmacists (Heiby, DeLeon, & Anderson, 2004).

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