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#6 - Therapists who treat violent criminals cannot both

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Complete Question Explanation

Weaken. The correct answer choice is (E)

This question describes a legitimate occupational dilemma for therapists: What do you do when a client
tells you about an unreported crime? Do you report it and violate the client’s trust or do you choose not
to report it and thereby jeopardize the public? According to the stimulus, it is impossible for a therapist
to keep a client’s information private while at the same time making efforts to ensure the public’s
wellbeing. In order to weaken this argument, you must provide a position that allows a therapist “to
both respect their clients’ right to confidentiality and be sincerely concerned for the welfare of victims
of future violent crimes.” In other words, the correct answer choice must provide a way for therapists to
somehow reduce the risk of future violent crimes without violating their clients’ right to confidentiality.
Answer choice (E) best expresses this idea.

Answer choice (A): Whether the therapist voluntarily sought out violent criminals or was assigned
to work with them has no impact on the moral dilemma expressed here. Court-appointed therapists
would be under the same obligations as any other therapists and this information does not make the two
obligations presented in the stimulus any less difficult to meet.

Answer choice (B): The likelihood of a criminal receiving therapy, or the physical location of the
criminal when he or she receives therapy, does nothing to weaken this conclusion, as it does not provide
a way for therapists to protect the public while still maintaining their clients’ right to confidentiality.

Answer choice (C): Remember that the argument is about the dilemma that faces therapists who treat
violent criminals. In order to weaken that argument, the correct answer choice must allow for the two
obligations of a therapist to coexist. Proving that victims and criminals are entitled to the same rights of
confidentiality does not do so.

Answer choice (D): Although it is perfectly acceptable for Weaken answer choices to introduce new
information, the idea of compensation for victims of violent crimes in this answer choice has no effect
on the argument.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Besides answer choice (A), this is the
only other answer choice which actually addresses therapists. Identifying this feature will help you
accelerate through the incorrect answer choices to the most likely correct answer choices. In this case,
a therapist who has gained a violent criminal’s trust (presumably enough so that the criminal confesses
an unreported crime) can convince that criminal not to commit future crimes. Thus, it is possible
for therapists to simultaneously fulfill their obligations to both the criminal and the public, and the
stimulus’s conclusion is thereby weakened.
oli_oops
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Administrator wrote:Complete Question Explanation

Weaken. The correct answer choice is (E)

This question describes a legitimate occupational dilemma for therapists: What do you do when a client
tells you about an unreported crime? Do you report it and violate the client’s trust or do you choose not
to report it and thereby jeopardize the public? According to the stimulus, it is impossible for a therapist
to keep a client’s information private while at the same time making efforts to ensure the public’s
wellbeing. In order to weaken this argument, you must provide a position that allows a therapist “to
both respect their clients’ right to confidentiality and be sincerely concerned for the welfare of victims
of future violent crimes.” In other words, the correct answer choice must provide a way for therapists to
somehow reduce the risk of future violent crimes without violating their clients’ right to confidentiality.
Answer choice (E) best expresses this idea.

Answer choice (A): Whether the therapist voluntarily sought out violent criminals or was assigned
to work with them has no impact on the moral dilemma expressed here. Court-appointed therapists
would be under the same obligations as any other therapists and this information does not make the two
obligations presented in the stimulus any less difficult to meet.

Answer choice (B): The likelihood of a criminal receiving therapy, or the physical location of the
criminal when he or she receives therapy, does nothing to weaken this conclusion, as it does not provide
a way for therapists to protect the public while still maintaining their clients’ right to confidentiality.

Answer choice (C): Remember that the argument is about the dilemma that faces therapists who treat
violent criminals. In order to weaken that argument, the correct answer choice must allow for the two
obligations of a therapist to coexist. Proving that victims and criminals are entitled to the same rights of
confidentiality does not do so.

Answer choice (D): Although it is perfectly acceptable for Weaken answer choices to introduce new
information, the idea of compensation for victims of violent crimes in this answer choice has no effect
on the argument.

Answer choice (E): This is the correct answer choice. Besides answer choice (A), this is the
only other answer choice which actually addresses therapists. Identifying this feature will help you
accelerate through the incorrect answer choices to the most likely correct answer choices. In this case,
a therapist who has gained a violent criminal’s trust (presumably enough so that the criminal confesses
an unreported crime) can convince that criminal not to commit future crimes. Thus, it is possible
for therapists to simultaneously fulfill their obligations to both the criminal and the public, and the
stimulus’s conclusion is thereby weakened.



Hello,

I completely get why E is correct now. However, I think when I chose B, I did so because the last sentence said ".....leaves the dangerous client out of prison, free to commit more crimes" and B stated that criminals (receiving therapy from therapists) could be in prison (as well as out of prison) already, therefore, it weakens the argument that criminals can get "out of prison" and essentially commit more crimes - because they are already in prison.
Sorry about the convoluted language, hope I didn't make things more confusing. I know my reasoning is quite strange. But B and E were my contenders and I chose B.

Thank you!
oli
James Finch
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Hi Oli,

It sounds like you may have misunderstood what the stimulus was doing: it was saying that there is an irreconcilable dilemma for therapists, who are forced to choose between either respecting criminal clients' confidentiality or risking more crimes occurring. The question stem asks us to weaken this argument, meaning we need to make it less likely that this is actually a dilemma that forces therapists to choose one or the other, but not both.

(B) is irrelevant to the dilemma at hand because we aren't dealing with therapy per se nor its effectiveness, but rather what therapists must choose between when presented with clients who admit criminal acts to them. It doesn't help to resolve the paradox, so it doesn't work as a correct answer choice here.

Hope this helps!