You are on page 1of 5


Ethical Codes and Guidelines Angie Prasch FPSY- 6101 March 31, 2013 Dr. Robert Meyer Jr.

P had recommended that Sam be given the death penalty. once again this recommendation was not based on a formal evaluation of Sam for the potential risk of future violent behavior. I will provide information relating to specific codes and guidelines and how they apply to the four specific areas of ethical conflict within the case study. When testifying that Sam was a psychopath. P’s experience of informal assessments in the prison system. Second Potential Conflict The second potential conflict relates to the first trial as well. They are obligated to use the knowledge. this information was solely based on Dr. P most likely had personal . Dr. 661). Dr. This conflict is similar to the first potential conflict as it a formal risk assessment was not done. P had testified at Sam’s first trial and had conducted the evaluation of Sam for the prosecuting attorney. Dr. The Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists section VI Methods and Procedures Part A (1991). states that an expert witness has an obligation to maintain current knowledge relating to their area of claimed competence. Dr. P’s informal assessments of incarcerated psychopaths does not withstand the test of being used as formal clinic knowledge and/or scientific methods required for a formal assessment. For the purpose of the paper I will be selecting four areas from the case study that pose as problems in regards to maintaining ethical guidelines and codes. in selecting data collection methods and procedures for an evaluation (American Psychology-Law Society p. which is consistent with accepted clinical and scientific methods.2 Ethical Codes and Guidelines I have examined the case study provided for the application. First Potential Conflict Dr. P testified at that trial that Sam was malingering psychosis and was responsible for his criminal behavior.

Third Potential Conflict After Sam was found competent to stand trial for killing the correctional officer. Dr. Dr. Fourth Potential Conflict The fourth potential conflict relates to Dr. P’s media communications following the trial. relates to recognizing when a personal moral belief or value could be creating a wedge in a person’s ability to maintain competence related to the subject. His testimony was based on observations made when securing the inmate following the death of Dr. P to decline to participate. When relying on investigative reports and the eye witness statements of others when providing expert testimony in legal proceeding. In doing so . 658). P’s long term co-worker. 662). P to testify at the second trial it would have been appropriate for Dr. this can jeopardize the degree of standard to which the testimony has a basis for (American Psychology-Law Society p. P had not collaborated data proving this to be fact. part F discusses the obligation of a forensic psychologist to minimize the use of hearsay evidence during expert testimony. but rather he relied on the correctional facilities investigational report of the assault. Dr. The Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists section III Competence part E. P was present and helped to secure Sam after the alleged assault took place. when the same district attorney asked Dr. P testified again that Sam is a psychopath and should be sentenced to death. In which case they are obligated to decline or limit their involvement in related professional services (American Psychology-Law Society p.3 bias towards Sam when Sam was not sentenced to the death penalty at trial number one. The Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists section VI Methods and Procedures. Based on this. he did not personally witness the criminal act. he disclosed details of his 24 years of experiences with the defendant. as well as .

part C relates to the importance of forensic psychologists not sharing details of a legal proceeding in a public statement to the media.4 participating in paid speaking engagements where he stated his personal opinions on the death penalty and the advantageous benefits of the death penalty for society as a whole. 664). The case study presented several ethical concerns and potential conflicts related to Dr. Conclusion An expert in the field has an obligation to withhold professional standards at all times. The Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists section VII. Public and Professional Communications. 2009). . Keeping in mind that the validity of evidence needs to be backed by research and practice (Salfati. This section also regards that if one must make a brief statement they should base the statement solely on their role or on evidence. and having the aid of the ethical standards and guidelines are a mandatory element in reducing ethical violations in the field of forensic psychology. This is key to protecting the field as a whole rather that an individual with their own interests in mind. not to advocate their personal opinions (American Psychology-Law Society p. P.

org/ethics/code/index. (2009). Walden University Course Media.pdf APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Ethics http://www.ap-ls.aspx Salfati. C. . Introduction to forensic psychology.apa.5 References American Psychology-Law Society Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists