develop training materials for potential ethical situations.

Therefore, this is a Word document — not powerpoint or Publish.

2-2 Final Project Milestone One: First Draft of Training Materials

For Milestone One, develop training materials for potential ethical situations. You can choose any discipline in psychology (clinical, cognitive, counseling, developmental, experimental, social, etc.). Using the five general principles of psychology (beneficence and nonmaleficence; fidelity and responsibility; integrity; justice; respect for peopleâs rights and dignity), draft a training portion utilizing user-friendly terminology to describe each principle, followed by one example of a potential ethical dilemma that violates the principle. Each example should be research-related.

 

****Requirements of submissionWritten components of project must follow these formatting guidelines when applicable: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and discipline-appropriate citations. ****

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Milestone One – Guidelines for Forensic Expert Witnesses

NAME HERE

Southern New Hampshire University

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Forensic Expert Witnesses

 

Forensic psychology is uniquely different than the practices of clinical, developmental, and cognitive psychology.  Compared to these areas of practice, forensic psychology is a relatively new and emerging field of study.

According to the American Psychological Association, forensic psychologists work in numerous job settings some of  which include private practices, government, judicial systems, military, academia, and prisons. With regards to the judicial system, a forensic psychologist might serve in various roles such as that of an expert witness for personal injury cases, jury selection expert, a consultant to attorneys for focus groups, or as a court-ordered competency evaluator for criminal insanity cases.  Unlike the other areas of psychology, a forensic psychologist must have a very good understanding of not only psychology, but also the legal rules, principles, and practices. (American Psychological Association)

Below are a few decision making models that are intended for addressing and facilitating challenging and troubling ethical dilemmas specifically related to expert witness testimony. These include:  interpreting the situation, reviewing the problem or dilemma, determining the standards of care that apply to the dilemma, generating possible and probable courses of action, considering the likely consequences of each course of action, consulting with a supervisor and/or peers, and selecting an action by weighing competing values given the context. (Tarvydas, 1998).

In addition to these general guidelines, forensic psychologists must also refer to state and federal laws relating to expert witness testimony as these differ from state to state. It is the hope that these guidelines will assist with establishing parameters for  maintaining professional conduct and when confronting ethical challenges.

Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

The primary objective of this principle is to provide treatment to the best of one’s professional ability, with the interests of one’s client, and to do no harm. In this regard, forensic psychologists are expected to maintain competence in their field, protect clients’ privacy in reports or consultations, and to provide opinions and reports based only on information derived from techniques sufficient to substantiate findings. Therefore it is the duty of the forensic psychologist to provide evidence or testimony only in matters for which he/she has relevant and appropriate education, training, and, based upon scientific knowledge.

Another fundamental principle, confidentiality, is the most frequently reported ethical dilemma encountered by members of the APA. While it may seem professionally and ethically inappropriate to disclose confidential information concerning one’s client, psychologists are obligated to adhere to the law when it comes to reducing self -harm to their clients or harming others.

Example of a Potential Research Ethical Dilemma for a Forensic Expert relating to Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

Testifying beyond the scope of propriety

Dr. Joy is giving testimony as to the mental functions of an accused inveterate criminal, and on questioning from the defendant’s attorney, agrees that the individual indeed has recidivistic characteristics, consistent with those manifested by an inveterate criminal. Dr. Joy then gratuitously adds that he believes that the defendant should undergo an amygdalotomy, a controversial psychosurgery procedure that was abused in the past by neurosurgeons and has not been verified by research studies.

Fidelity and Responsibility

Forensic psychologists have a responsibility to themselves and their clients to maintain a high level of competency in order to be credible witnesses in their field of study.  This is obtained through licensure, training, supervised experience, continuing education courses and seminars, and professional experience. Forensic psychologists are also encouraged to belong to professional associations so that they may stay current with their professional peers about evolving criteria and ethical conflicts (Fisher, p. 68).

Forensic psychologists that serve as expert witnesses must also be familiar with the rules of evidence regarding case law and expert testimony which varies from state to state (Fisher, p. 75).

Forensic practitioners are prohibited from expressing legal opinion or providing legal advice.  While it is necessary for a forensic practitioner to have a full understanding of legal proceedings, rulings, and the court systems, they are not practitioners of law. Their role is to educate and make assessments on forensic issues.

Example of a Potential Research Ethical Dilemma for a Forensic Expert relating to Fidelity and Responsibility

 

Dr. Solomon has been hired by an organization to conduct research on expert witness testimony. He continues with the study but finds out that his research team may have tampered with medical records and engaging in questionable research practices, but does not have any actual evidence of this matter.

The organization is unaware of these recent findings.  Is it Dr. Solomon’s responsibility to inform them of the team’s ethical misconduct?

Justice

As part of their trial strategy, lawyers will exhibit evidence and argue in an adversarial manner in order to present the case in a more favorable light for clients.  However, forensic experts are expected to address all participants, all data, opposing expert opinions, and rival hypothesis with impartially and respect.

When offering expert opinion which is relied upon by legal authorities, forensic experts must strive for accuracy, impartiality, fairness, and independence. Personal beliefs and biases must not interfere with rules of law.

When commenting on the work product and qualifications of other professionals in the field, forensic practitioners should do so in a fair, respectful, and impartial manner.

Example of a Potential Research Ethical Dilemma for a Forensic Expert relating to Justice

A defendant is sentenced to death after his trial.  On appeal by his attorneys, it is claimed that he has insufficient intelligence to understand the nature of his crime and the sentence. Dr. Young, a forensic psychologist, is accordingly asked by the state to evaluate the defendant with respect to this issue.

 

Dr. Young evaluates the individual, using standard measures of IQ and comprehension, and concludes that he has marginal, yet probable, adequate intellectual ability and cognition to understand the issues involved.

 

However, Dr. Young, is a strong opponent to capital punishment, and advises the court that the prisoner does not have sufficient cognition to fully understand his situation, essentially sparing him the death penalty.

 

Such action by Dr. Young would reflect a miscarriage of justice, in that the patient is legally competent to be executed in accord with the laws of the state.

Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

            It is the duty of forensic psychologists to be mindful and respectful of age, culture, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and socioeconomic status of all individuals.  In that regard, a forensic psychologist must be employ restraint in voicing personal beliefs, biases, and political opinion in the scope of their practice (Fisher, p. 27-28).

Forensic psychologists must also make every effort to protect the privacy and confidentiality rights of their clients. In doing so, they will adhere to their clients’ informed consent statements when asked to disclose personal information with regards to assessment, diagnosis, notes, medical records, treatment plans, test protocols and data.  Certain confidential information contained in records is protected by laws and only a signed court order allows for release of such information.

Example of a Potential Research Ethical Dilemma for a Forensic Expert relating to People’s Rights and Dignity

Dr. Rogers, a forensic psychologist, is Jewish and is very opinionated about the current political  crisis in Israel.  He does not hold back in expressing his personal views and biases about religion and politics to the office staff, clients, or the mailman.  A professional colleague wants to conduct a study with Dr. Rogers as the lead investigator, but knows this might cause problems for the participants in their ability to share their true views and opinions without judgment by Dr. Rogers. However, the colleague also knows that Dr. Rogers is the best person to conduct the study.

 

 

 

References:

 

American Psychology Association, Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology, American Psychologist, Vol. 68, No. 1  p. 7-19, January 2013

 

Barnett, JE, Psy.D. and Johnson, BS, Navigating the Ethical Decision Making Maze, The Maryland Psychologist, November/December 2003: Volume 49

 

Faria, MA, See comment in PubMed Commons belowViolence, mental illness, and the brain – A brief history of psychosurgery: Part 3 – From deep brain stimulation to amygdalotomy for violent behavior, seizures, and pathological aggression in humans, See comment in PubMed Commons belowSurg Neurol Int.  July 2013 17;4:91.

 

Fisher, CB, Decoding the Ethics Code – A Practical Guide for Psychologists, Sage Publications, 3rd Edition, Thousand Oaks, CA (2013).

 

Pope, KS & Bajt, TR, When laws and values conflict: A dilemma for psychologistshttp://www.kspope.com/ethics/research8.php, American Psychologist, 43-828

 

Pope, KS and Vetter, VA, Ethical Dilemmas Encountered by Members of the American Psychological Association: A National Survey, http://kspope.com/ethics/ethics2.php, p. 1-40

 

PSY 570: Final Project Guidelines and Grading Guide

 Overview

The final project for this course is the creation of an ethics training manual for individuals who will be working with employees or clients (could be educational or IOP, depending on the student’s concentration). If any students are pursuing a general track (no concentration), they can select any area of psychology of interest. The project is divided into four milestones, which will be submitted at various points throughout the course to scaffold learning and ensure quality final submissions. These milestones will be submitted in Modules Two, Four, Seven, and Ten.

 

You can choose any discipline in psychology (clinical, cognitive, counseling, developmental, experimental, social, etc.), but it would be most beneficial to choose either your concentration area or an area of interest. Using the five general principles of psychology (beneficence and nonmaleficence; fidelity and responsibility; integrity; justice; respect for people’s rights and dignity), draft a training portion utilizing user-friendly terminology to describe each principle, including multiple-role relationships, relating it back to the APA Code of Ethics and providing stepwise recommendations on solving the ethical situation. You must incorporate at least four scholarly resources in your ethics training manual. The final ethics training manual will be 10–14 pages in length, not counting the title or reference pages.

Main Elements

Milestone One: The first draft of the training materials will utilize user-friendly terminology describing each principle in two paragraphs. Following the explanation of each principle, students will need to provide one example of a research-related potential ethical dilemma that would violate the principle in the student’s selected concentration. If any students are pursuing a general track (no concentration), they can select any relevant area of psychology for their example.

 

  • Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence
  • Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility
  • Principle C: Integrity
  • Principle D: Justice
  • Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

 

Milestone Two: The second draft of the training materials will continue to utilize user-friendly terminology to describe each principle (two paragraphs per principle). This draft is an opportunity for the student to add to or modify the explanation utilizing instructor feedback. Following the explanation of each principle, students will need to provide an additional example of a potential ethical dilemma that would violate the principle. This example will be a field-related ethical dilemma in the student’s selected concentration, thus making a total of two dilemmas for each principle, or ten examples total. If any students are pursuing a general track (no concentration), they can select any relevant area of psychology for their example.

 

Milestone Three: Present an issue that may cause ethical concern in establishing professional boundaries with the five stated relationships (below). Each issue must consist of an ethical situation within the context and a description of what the APA Code of Ethics recommends doing in each situation.

 

Professional boundaries regarding multiple-role relationships with:

 

  1. clinical clients
  2. research participants
  3. graduate students
  4. supervisees
  5. consultees

 

Milestone Four: The training manual includes examples of potential ethical issues, including multiple relationships. These issues are discussed in relation to the five general principles and the APA Code of Ethics. Select any two of the examples of ethical issues utilized in the drafted training manual and provide the steps necessary to making an ethical decision within each example. You will need to take into consideration the psychologist’s role in the example as well as how culture may influence your decision making, including documentation, consultation, and the final ethical decision for each example. You will then need to outline the potential consequences of not selecting the ethical path for that specific example. The Final Project will include all information from Milestones One, Two, Three, and Four, making a complete training manual.

 

Milestones

Milestone One: First Draft of Training Materials

In task 2-2, you will submit the first draft of training materials for potential ethical situations. This first draft will receive instructor feedback to be used in modifying the second draft. This milestone will be graded separately using the Milestone One Rubric (below).

 

Milestone Two: Second Draft of Training Materials

In task 4-2, you will submit the second draft of training materials. This milestone will be graded separately using the Milestone Two Rubric (below).

 

Milestone Three: Third Draft of Training Materials

In task 7-2, you will submit the third draft of training materials. This milestone will be graded separately by the Milestone Three Rubric (below) and should incorporate instructor feedback.

 

Milestone Four: Final Draft of Training Materials

In task 10-3, you will submit the final draft of training materials. It should be a complete, polished artifact containing all of the main elements of the final product. It should reflect the incorporation of feedback gained throughout the course

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