ETHICAL DILEMMAS IN THE PRACTICE OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY
Professional code of ethics regulates the behavior and practicing of individuals from different fields. Psychologists conform to the stated professional code of ethics that guide them in the provision of safe and quality services to their clients. Similarly, psychologists can practice in firms, including the law to aid in forensic examination of the convicted individuals. As such, it may require the application of the law code of ethics and psychological code of ethics, a fact that might present a significant challenge to them. Therefore, the following analysis identifies the standards of ethics psychologist (Dr. Joven) faces when practicing forensic psychology.
Dr. Joven has to follow numerous ethical standards guiding his professional practice as a future forensic psychologist. He will have to ensure confidentiality of the information of his clients. Confidentiality entails respecting one's right of privacy to the extent applicable, given the legal perspective. A forensic psychologist should be aware of privacy and confidentiality issues presented with a specific situation. The client's information should be protected from access by a third party who might influence the legitimacy of the information collected from forensic examinations. As such, ensuring confidentiality in the law firm will entail involving other personnel such as an attorney to protect the information of the client (Zapf, Hart, & Roesch, 2013).
Seeking consent from the participants determines the outcome of the forensic psychology examination. Informed consent reflects the respect for the client, his moral rights, and source of autonomy to participate in the process. In addition, seeking informed consent allows forensic psychologists to solve conflicts that might arise during the process in an effective manner. As stated by Zapf, Hart, & Roesch (2013), informed consent does not only prevent the client from unwanted forensic examination, but also allows the client to have the opportunities to engage actively in the process of forensic examination. As such, this implies that, the process provides the forensic psychologist and the client to share information freely; hence the honesty and strive to achieve the desired professional objectives. When forensic psychologists function within the stated legal process, they need to adhere to the principle of striving for their declared objectives and honesty. The psychologists should ensure honesty during forensic examination, evaluation, expressing opinions, and sharing information with clients and other forensic psychologists. Basing their work on forensic opinions, testimony, and reports ensure maintenance of objectivity and honesty. In addition, he will have to ensure expertise practice. Expert practice entails acquiring the required training, knowledge, skills, and experience to deliver the expected forensic psychology results. Having the requisite expert skills and experience builds one's confidence and wins public trust towards the services provided by a forensic psychologist (APA, n.d.).
Dr. Joven also faces the ethical standard of proper documentation of the acquired forensic psychology information. Proper record keeping ensures transparency and responsibility in cases of legal pursuits and evidence in courts. Proper record keeping also maintains the stated professional ethics and heightens the visibility of the profession. He also has the responsibility of resolving the required ethical issues effectively. Forensic psychologists often face the challenge of ethical dilemmas. As such, he should have the skills to take decisions that resolve the presented issues effectively (Ethics Rounds n.d.).
Apart from the forensic psychology standards of ethics, Dr. Joven faces the need for upholding the APA principles for psychologists. He would have to ensure beneficence and non-maleficence. In his actions, Dr. Joven will have to protect the rights and the safety of the individuals they interact together professionally. As a psychologist, he will have to work independently of biases, prejudices, and affiliation that clearly indicate the influence of their actions on them. When conflicts arise among them, he has the responsibility of resolving them in a more responsible manner that prevents and minimizes harm. In addition, beneficence and non-maleficence entails ensuring protection of clients from political, social, organizational, and personal factors that might affect their well-being (Zapf, Hart, & Roesch, 2013).
Dr. Joven will also face the challenge of upholding the standard of professional fidelity and responsibility, as he wants to become a forensic psychologist. Fidelity entails building trusting relationships with the other professionals and the clients. He will have to understand the scientific and professional responsibilities to the community and the profession as a whole. As such, he will have to uphold the standards of psychology, clarify…
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