Forensic Ethics and the Expert Witness (Google eBook)

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Springer Science & Business Media, Aug 19, 2007 - Psychology - 211 pages
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Why a book about the ethics of forensic psychiatry and related disciplines? Most psychiatrists, after all, learn something in their training about the ethics of medical practice in general and of the practice of psychiatry in particular. Do the maxims that steer all physicians through the ethical complexities of clinical medicine not provide equally effective guidance to clinical and scientific expert witnesses? The answer, in short, is “No. ” When psychiatrists, for example, enter the realm of the expert witness, they tread on moral terrain with a significantly different topography than the paths to which they are accustomed in their clinical roles. Clinical psych- trists owe primary allegiance to their patients’interests; for them the prin- ples of beneficence (doing good) and non-maleficence (avoiding harm) will generally take priority over all other considerations. For psychiatrists who serve as experts, however, there are no patients to whom fidelity is due. There are only persons being evaluated for the sake of providing opinions to third parties. Perhaps a defendant in a criminal case, a plaintiff in a tort action, or a claimant in an adjudication of disability benefits or workers’ compensation—but not a patient. And that makes all the difference. Whatever its other virtues, no theory of the ethics of forensic psychiatry will serve its purpose unless it offers the psychiatric expert direction in dealing with this situation.
  

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Contents

The Problem of the Experts Ethics in Court
3
Cases and Examples Using the Approaches So Far
41
Ethical Theories Principled Models Narrative Theory and Professional Integrity
61
Theories and Perspectives from Other Quarters
77
Robust Professionalism Beyond Roles
97
Ethical Reasoning for the Courtroom Expert
125
Appendix of Ethics Codes
179
Index
207
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Philip Candilis, MD, FAPA, completed his psychiatry residency and chief residency at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital. He is formerly a Fellow in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, and Fellow in Law and Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Candilis has served as a hospital ethicist, hospital ethics committee chair, and ethics consultant to federal and state agencies. He chaired the effort to revise the ethics guidelines of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law (AAPL), served as writer, consultant, and editor for the professional ethics revision of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), and wrote for the revision of the APA’s research ethics guidelines. Dr. Candilis conducts federally funded research on informed consent at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and serves as medical director of an inpatient unit in the Massachusetts Dept. of Mental Health. He lives in Arlington, MA, with his wife and daughter.

Robert Weinstock, MD completed his residency in general and adolescent psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, and a research fellowship in psychiatry at Boston University Medical School. He is certified in forensic psychiatry by the ABPN. Dr. Weinstock is former chair of the ethics committee of AAPL, and of the good forensic practice committee of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. While chair of AAPL’s ethics committee the guidelines were revised twice and the only Opinions of the AAPL Ethics Committee promulgated. Dr. Weinstock co-edited Ethical Practice in Psychiatry and Law published by Kluwer in 1990, and has written numerous papers on forensic ethics. He chairs the California Psychiatric Association’s Judicial Action Committee and has served on the APA judicial action committee and is a distinguished fellow of the APA. Dr. Weinstock is clinical professor of psychiatry at UCLA where he is director of the forensic psychiatry fellowship program.

Richard Martinez, MD, completed undergraduate studies at Tulane University and a Master of Humanities degree at the University of Colorado. He received his M.D. from LSU Medical School in New Orleans and completed a Fellowship in the Division of Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, followed by a Fellowship at the Center for Ethics and the Professions at Harvard University from 1994-96. As an Associate Professor in the Center for Bioethics and Humanities, he coordinated the clinical ethics and graduate medical education initiatives in ethics and professionalism for several years.

He has written on topics of professional ethics and social responsibility, organizational healthcare ethics, medical undergraduate education, boundaries in the patient-professional relationship, and the medical humanities. Currently, Dr. Martinez is the Director of Psychiatric Emergency and Forensic Services at Denver Health Medical Center and Denver County Jail and is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and Interim Training Director of the Fellowship in Forensic Psychiatry. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in the sub-specialty of Forensic Psychiatry and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.