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Forensic psychology

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  1. Introduction
  2. Ethical concerns
    1. Honesty
    2. Confidentiality
    3. Respect
    4. Harm
    5. Integrity
  3. Stakeholder theory
  4. Virtue theories
  5. Duty theories
  6. Consequentialist theory
  7. HMM
  8. Conclusion: Which vehicle of analysis is best?

Every day ethical issues arise. Sometimes we notice them, often we don't. More frequently than not we follow a natural instinct rather than sitting down and charting out pros and cons because we subconsciously identify ethical concerns and respond based on that reaction.

In the field of psychology professionals do not have the luxury of responding to ethical issues or concerns on a subconscious level. Instead one must work to establish tangible reasons for decisions and interpretations which could very likely shape a person's future.

These stakes are raised to a more significant level in the specialized field of forensic psychology. Forensic psychology is a relatively new field which has emerged from the developing combined field of law and psychology. Forensic psychologists are called upon to evaluate people for the purposes of court proceedings. They are most often used to judge a person's mental state at the time of a crime, the capability of a person to stand trial or testify as a credible witness.

[...] A forensic psychologist must go above and beyond to ensure that all parties have the best of their expertise. Generally speaking forensic psychologists are called to assess people in 4 major regards court-appointed 2. defense/prosecution/plaintiff's expert 3. consultant 4. fact witness Court appointed forensic psychologists evaluate people per the court's request. They are usually required to first evaluate the individual and then report on their findings. More often than not they are also asked to testify for the court about the conclusions they drew from their assessment. [...]

[...] Obviously forensic psychologists don't have ethical issues to handle because everyone operates by the book under penalty of death for not doing so. Consequentialist theory This theory holds that one judge's the morality of an action based on the outcome of that action. So with this theory if a psychologist bends a rule and compromises a case but in the end no one found out and justice was served then the action was justified and was not amoral. Though, if one really considered the situation they could deduce that justice was not served since the rules were not adhered to by all parties so the person sent to jail was technically wrongfully incarcerated. [...]

[...] Harm A recurring theme seems to be that because forensic psychology involves more people, there are more areas in which to breach ethical concerns. This remains true where harm as an underlying issue is concerned. Obviously less than appropriate treatment of the person being evaluated could cause them harm in a number of ways. Aside from the scarring the betrayal by a therapist could cause them, their case could be compromised and by extension their lives. If a person needs to be in a psychiatric facility rather than a jail and the psychologist assessing them in remiss in doing so, the assessment can be dismissed and that individual could end up in jail where they will inevitably struggle given that they demand more psychologically concentrated care. [...]

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