Ethical, Social, and Legal Implications of DisclosureEveteg
PSY699: Master of Arts in Psychology Capstone
Week Four Discussion Case File
Case Summary Client 1: Tina, a 36-year-old HIV-positive Latina woman
Client 2: Tina’s daughter, 12-year-old Victoria (also HIV positive)
Tina became infected through a former boyfriend who had a history of intravenous drug use.
Tina gave birth to an HIV-positive daughter, Victoria. Tina does not want Victoria to know that
either of them has HIV.
Victoria is now 12 years old and has been told by her mother that she takes medications for “a
problem in her blood.” Recently, Victoria stated that she does not like taking the medication and
occasionally misses doses. The clinic staff has raised the issue of whether Victoria should be told
about her diagnosis. They’ve warned Tina that in the near future, Victoria will be at an age at
which girls often become more interested in boys or sexual behavior. The clinic’s therapist feels
that if Victoria knew her diagnosis she might be more adherent to her regimen of medications.
However, Tina absolutely does not want her daughter to know. Tina believes Victoria is still too
young and will be emotionally devastated. Tina believes that it is her responsibility — and only
her responsibility as a mother — to “protect” her child, and that her daughter is “not ready” to
know. Tina also believes that Victoria is “a good girl” and will not be sexually active until she is
The clinic’s therapist thinks Tina’s guilt about having transmitted the virus to her daughter is
causing her to take this stance. Still, the clinic staff is concerned and wants Tina to reconsider.
This situation presents several ethical dilemmas and requires further consultation.