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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Recent technological advances have led to the use of telemedicine as way to increase access to health care to those who have limited resources. Telepsychiatry, also called telemental health, involves the delivery of mental health care over long distances through the use of videoconferencing equipment. The increasing accessibility of broadband internet have allowed this technology to reach more parts of the world, while the increasing sophistication of equipment such as high definition televisions and remote-controlled webcams has allowed this technology to feel less impersonal. This chapter discusses the history of telepsychiatry and different examples of how such technology is used and in which sorts of situations it can be employed. The chapter also examines the ethical issues that arise in telepsychiatry and reviews some of the literature that is currently available, focusing on the four ethical principles of medicine. Clinical vignettes are used both to highlight potential dilemmas that can arise through the technology as well as to demonstrate how in certain situations, the technology can potentially be more beneficial than face-to-face assessments.

Keywords: ethics, psychiatric ethics, technology, technology and medicine, telepsychiatry, telemedicine, telemental health, videoconferencing

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