For psychologists and attorneys--among others--working remotely, patient and client interaction remains a necessity of the job. And as those professionals begin to meet with their patients or clients through video conferencing, obtaining patient or client consent is becoming more and more important. The consent form serves a few purposes. First, it protects the professional from liability, should unwanted intruders find their way into the video conference. Patients and clients need to understand that (1) this unfortunately is a possibility in today's world and (2) the decision to partake in video conferences is their choice and their choice alone. Second, the consent also serves to warn patients and clients to find a private physical space for the conference, where privilege won't be put in harm's way. Times are changing, and for now, the privacy of a psychologist's office or an attorney's conference room is becoming more and more rare every day.
The carefully calculated rise of remote work, which had been projected to follow a predictably smooth curve, spiked with the spreading of the novel virus — threatening millions of people, shutting down schools, transit, and work facilities wherever people could congregate and infect one another.