Psychopharmacology Webinar Series Module 6: Ethics of Medication (Recorded)



The recording will be available on or before August 21.

LEVEL: Intermediate

Continuing Education Eligibility (Included):

(BACB®) 2 Type II
(QABA®) 2 General (In-person)
APA: 2 General (Home Study)

Today, 8.5 % of children in the United States are taking psychotropic medications, with an increasing number of children prescribed medications each year. Very few psychotropic medications are approved to give to children by the Federal Drug Administration, with many providers using medications “off label”. Further, research has shown that as many as 50% of children living in foster care may be prescribed medications when behavioral approaches are shown to be more effective, prescribed numerous medications without documentation of rationale, and/or are prescribed medications with poor monitoring or evaluation.

In our webinar on Psychopharmacology and the Ethics of Medication, we focused on the ethical dilemmas facing families and providers when considering psychotropic medications for children. We reviewed the four ethical principles, including respect for autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, and how these principles apply to using psychotropic medications with children.

Presenter: Ronald T. Brown, PhD, ABPP and Deborah P. Coehlo, PhD, C-PNP, PMHS, CFLE
Panelist: Manya Ralkowski, EdS, BCBA, LBA, IBA

Learning Objectives:

1. Review the reasons for more children being prescribed psychotropic medications in the US, including increased diagnosis of treatable conditions, increased access to safe medications, and increased trauma-related disorders in children.

2. Explore and discuss the four ethical principles and how they apply to prescribe psychotropic medications in children.

3. Evaluate societal and cultural factors that may influence whether medications are used to treat mental health disorders in children.

4. Analyze concerns regarding the use of psychotropic medications in children, including over-prescribing, failure to consider behavioral approaches when indicated, polypharmacy, and inappropriate use of “off-label” medications.

5. Apply knowledge to specific case studies including assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and evaluation of outcomes.

6. Examine approaches used to discussing ethical principles related to prescribing medications with parents of children with mental health disorders.


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Access to the recorded version is valid for 1 month.

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