Modern Day Ethics: Guns, Social Media and Clinical Dilemmas


Modern Day Ethics: Guns, Social Media and Clinical Dilemmas

Jack Rozel, MD, MSL Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Adjunct Professor of Law,   and Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Health Law, University of Pittsburgh

Social and cultural issues can shift quickly: pressing concerns today may have been all but unheard of days or months ago. Applying ethical tools and standards to new dilemmas can be challenging because the codes and rules evolve slowly. This presentation will address two issues that are timely, evolving, and challenging: talking to patients about firearms and managing boundaries and access in an era of social media.

  • The gun talk: assessing access to firearms is an essential part of any clinical assessment of suicide and violence risk yet it is a topic where most mental health professionals lack formal training. The gun talk provides a basic framework for firearm safety counseling. It is particularly tailored to recognize and adapt to possible differences in the values between professionals and patients and how to navigate those potential conflicts. 
  • Risky connections: since inception, the internet has provided capacity for near-complete anonymity contrasted with incredibly intimate and detailed collections of personal information either accumulated by data mining systems or willingly shared through social media. The modern clinician must be aware of the risks and opportunities of connected care.

Dr. Jack RozelJohn “Jack” Rozel, MD, MSL
Medical Director, resolve Crisis Services
Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC  
Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Adjunct Professor of Law, and Affiliate Faculty, Center for Bioethics and Health Law
University of Pittsburgh




Dr. Rozel has been working in emergency mental health for over 25 years and has been the medical director of resolve crisis services since 2010.  He is the president-elect of the American Association for Emergency Psychiatry, the leading national organization dedicated to the improvement of compassionate, evidence based care for people with psychiatric emergencies.  As the medical director of resolve Crisis Services, he leads a team of 150 crisis professionals who deliver over 130,000 services every year to the residents of Allegheny County through phone, mobile, walk-in and overnight programs delivered through a person centered, recovery oriented model.  Dr. Rozel trains and consults with teams across UPMC and the country on projects related to violence and threat management, staff injury prevention, and firearm injury prevention.  He is board certified in general, child and forensic psychiatry.  Dr. Rozel is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a 2018 recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Dr. Rozel, along with his colleague Dr. Layla Soliman, runs the @violencewonks feed on twitter, providing short summaries of new violence research.  

Who Should Attend. The conference is designed to disseminate information to a wide audience: psychiatrists and other mental health clinicians, including nurses, social workers, psychologists, service coordinators, mental health policy administrators and others.

Location. UPMC Herberman Conference Center, 5150 Centre Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15232

For More Information. Please click here for additional information and to register for this conference. You may also call Nancy Mundy at 412-204-9090 with questions regarding this course.

Learning Objectives. At the completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  1. Effectively assess access to firearms, storage and handling habits including exploring guns and violence risk

  2. Apply effective -- and avoid ineffective -- techniques for counseling about gun safety using motivational interviewing and cross-cultural models

  3. Identify opportunities and risks of using clinical and nonclinical databases to guide patient care

  4. Identify opportunities and risks of having a professional or personal social media presence

  5. Recognize potential security concerns for mental health professionals from publicly available information

Continuing Education Credits Available. This will fulfill the three hour requirement for the LSW/LCSW/LPC/LMFT license. 


Recovery and Wellness: The Journey Starts Here
A Joint Effort Sponsored by Community Care Behavioral Health Organization
and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic of UPMC