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Assignment 2: RA: Ethical Issues during Forensic Assessments
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Assignment 2: RA: Ethical Issues during Forensic Assessments

When conducting forensic assessments, it is important for forensic mental health professionals to have a thorough understanding of the following:

  • Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct Including 2010 Amendments
  • Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychology: Adopted by APA Council of Representatives

Ethical issues are commonly present when completing forensic assessments. Read the scenario below and discuss the ethical issues therein.

Dr. Smith was contacted by the District County Attorney's office to evaluate Mr. Doe as part of a sexually violent predator civil commitment hearing. Dr. Smith agreed to complete the evaluation and contacted the prison facility, where Mr. Doe was being held, to schedule an appointment.

Upon arrival at the prison, Mr. Doe's attorney indicated that he wanted to be present for the interview and psychological testing. Dr. Smith agreed, and they proceeded with the interview. During the interview, while discussing his sex offense history, Mr. Doe admitted to offending against two adult females. He also reported offending against his three-year-old daughter. He indicated that his relationship with his wife, although rocky at times, is generally supportive. Upon inquiry, he reported a history of domestic abuse, which was never reported. He explained that due to his arrest and incarceration, his wife has had to find a job to be able to continue to afford their housing. He reported that he previously worked as a general maintenance worker at a local trucking company. He explained that he cheated on his wife with a coworker, who has since stopped all communication. He indicated that this coworker used to visit and send him letters and money when he was first "locked up." He reported that he was angry that she ceased all communication, without explanation, and spoke of her with rage and hostility. He said, "If I ever see her again, I'll kill her."

During the administration of the psychological tests, Mr. Doe asked to use the restroom once and was provided another five-minute break. There was a great deal of background noise throughout the interview and administration. On two occasions, Mr. Doe asked his attorney how he should answer the question. He was advised, and he answered as such. Upon the completion of testing, Dr. Smith thanked Mr. Doe and his attorney for their time and indicated that he would see them in court.

If released, Mr. Doe will return to his home with his wife and two daughters. He has reported to the prison staff that he will also return to his previous job and may enroll in vocational classes at an area community college.

Tasks:

As a forensic mental health professional, discuss the ethical issues in the scenario. Refer to the following resources:

  • American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of
               psychologists and code of conduct including 2010 amendments
    .
               Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
  • American Psychology-Law Society. (2011). Specialty guidelines for forensic
               psychology: Adopted by APA Council of Representatives
    [Unofficial
               version]. Retrieved from http://www.ap-ls.org/aboutpsychlaw/
               SGFP_Final_Approved_2011.pdf

Write a 5- to 6-page report in a Microsoft Word document addressing the following:

  • Identify the appropriate APA ethical code(s) and the specialty guidelines that may apply to this scenario.
  • Examine the limits of confidentiality. How might those limits be affected by some of the information contained in the scenario?
  • Discuss specific circumstances in the case study in which there might be a duty to report or duty to warn.
  • Explain the limitations of what the evaluator can and cannot say.
  • Discuss the implications of the third-party observer to the overall evaluation.

Your report should rely upon at least four scholarly resources from the professional literature that are cited in APA format. The literature may include the Argosy University online library resources; relevant textbooks; peer-reviewed journal articles; and websites created by professional organizations, agencies, or institutions (.edu, and .gov).

Submission Detail

 

Assignment Component

Proficiency

Max Points

Identify the appropriate APA ethical code(s) and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists that appear within this scenario.

 

CO 1

 

APA ethical code(s) and the Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists identified are accurate for the scenario and cover all codes and guidelines present in the scenario. Specific examples of how they appear in the scenario are identified and completely explained.

/ 52 pts

Examine the limits to confidentiality.

 

CO 1

 

Limits to confidentiality are accurately identified and specific to the scenario. Specific examples and references to research are used to support ideas.

/ 32 pts

Discuss duty to report and/or duty to warn.

 

CO 1

 

Specific circumstances in which there is the duty to report and/or warn in the case example are accurately identified. All instances of appropriateness for duty to report and/or warn are discussed.

 

/ 28 pts

Explain the limitations of what the evaluator can and cannot say

 

CO 1 and 2

 

Limitations of what evaluator can and cannot say are accurately identified and clearly explained. Specific examples and references to research are used to support ideas. All limitations that are appropriate to the scenario are presented and thoroughly explained.

 

/ 40 pts

Discuss the implications of the third-party observer to the overall evaluation.

 

CO 1

 

Discussion of the implications of third-party observers is clear, complete, and thoughtful. Specific examples of how it impacts the evaluation and references to research are used to support ideas.

/ 28 pts

Write in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrate ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; display accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

 

Writing is generally clear and in an organized manner. It demonstrates ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; and generally displays accurate spelling, grammar, punctuation. Errors are few, isolated, and do not interfere with reader’s comprehension.

/ 20 pts

 

Total

/ 200 pts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ethical Issues During Forensic Assessments

Student’s Name

University Affiliate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identify the appropriate APA ethical standards and the forensic specialty guidelines that may apply to this scenario.

            An Ethical issue may arise when carrying out an assessment on a sexually violent predator. The main thing that is put into consideration first is whether or not a civil commitment hearing is justified, once that is built up measure must be taken so as to present a demand for disavowing an individual ideal to be discharged once his time has been served. The ground meant for proper handling of the rights of fierce sexual wrongdoers are established by moral principles and forensic specialty guidelines.

As from the report made by American Psychology-Law Society (2011), Guideline 4.02: Multiple Relationships is one of the Suitable APA ethical models and Forensic Specialty that may apply to this situation. The other APA ethical standards and Forensic Guidelines include Moral Standard 1.21: That is concerned with Party solicitations for services (American Psychological Affiliation, 2010). Ethical Principle 5.05: Disclosure (American Psychological Association, 2010), there is also the Duty to Warm. Guideline 5.0: Limits of Confidentiality (American Psychology-Law Society, 2011).

In any case, privacy does not make a difference in a measurable limit, predominantly on account of the requirement for supporting information (Kalmbach, and Lyons, 2006). In the situation, the respondent said that he was angry as a result his coworker ceasing all communication without any reasonable explanation and talked about her with anger and threatening vibe. The litigant said, “if I ever see her again, I'll kill her.”  According to the ethical standards, it is the Obligation of the evaluator to disclose the secret to the relevant authority that to warn his coworker that she might be in danger once the offender is released.

Examine the limits of confidentiality.

Issues of confidentiality are examined, keeping in mind that each state forces distinctive legitimate points of confinement of ensuring the patients' protection. Nevertheless, all psychologist applies moral standard concerning confidentiality (Fisher, 2008).  As it is indicated by (Fisher, 2008), in early 70's, Psychologist believed in the significance of their patient's confidences. However, they worried over the new legitimate requests for revelation. Different from this, in 90's, it was a period of disciplinary activities inside the psychology research field, since privacy positioned most elevated in moral infringement. (Fisher, 2008) States that between 2000-2004 is the time when Confidentiality disciplinary infractions were in position 4. At the moment of examining the limits of confidentiality, one must take into consideration that there will be circumstances where the analyst is allowed to reveal data without your assent or your approval ("Neurofocus Center, n.d").

The case of confidentiality limitation might show it's self if a patient displays risk to his or her health. If the demand is under court request, such data will be imparted accordantly to the proper expert administrations. These confidentiality limits can affect some of the information in Mr. Doe's case because Mr. Doe is a numerous wrongdoer of violent sex crimes. He shows clear dangers towards his female coworker and has transparently debilitated her. The law has permitted disclosure of that information without the offender's assent. The situation recommends that the offender has little cognizance about what's happening, accordingly a psychological wellness Assessment and the aftereffects of that data under court request will be introduced to the judge. Discuss particular circumstances in the case study in which there might be a duty to report or obligation to warn. Mr. Doe stated that his coworker ceased all communication without any reasonable explanation and talked about her with anger and hostility. He continued to say if he sees her again he will kill her. As per the law, should notify relevant authority so the authority would notify the coworker that she might be in danger if he is released from the jail. 

Werth et al. (n.d) state that "The duty to warn apply to the circumstances in which case law or statute requires the mental health professional to make a good-faith effort to contact the target of a client's serious threats of harm and to notify law enforcement of the threat." The author also distinguishes the obligation to protect stating that, ”The duty to protect, on the other hand, applies to situations in which the mental health professional has a legal obligation to take action to protect a threatened third party” (“Welfel, Vasquez, Benjamin, & Werth, n.d”). In the situation, the offender’s comprehension of what's happening and his level of fixation appear to require some consideration. The offender seemed not to understand the questions asked because he answered the questions with the help of his attorney general. In a case of any evaluation, the psychologist has an obligation to propose an emotional well-being assessment before continuing. The offender should go through a habilitation process before being released from the prison and if he seems to be still a threat to the society, parole ought to be allowed, and the offender should be held indefinitely.  

Explain the limitations of what the evaluator can and cannot say

Some situations would require a therapist to break secrecy, however initial an analyst is secured by specific standards on what to state, what not to state, how to state it. Conferring to Richmond (2015), as per the guideline of privacy, the psychologist is required to hold the benefit for you even after treatment has ended. These imply nothing he or she thinks about you can be disclosed to any other individual without your authorization. A psychologist is urged to break confidentiality only if the offender says that he has or he will commit the criminal act, if the perpetrator claims to kill herself or if the Psychologist comes across any case of child abuse. These situations are exemptions to privacy.

It is basic that all therapist clings to Moral Standards of Psychologists and Implicit rules standard 4.02. Talking about the breaking points of Privacy, in doing as such appropriately will give the guilty party a superior comprehend about what will occur with the data he/she give and also measuring the conditions behind what is said. Standard 4:05 is likewise critical in understanding restrictions concerning Classification. Standard 4:05 Exposure: " First, Therapists may unveil classified data with the suitable assent of the hierarchical customer, the individual customer/understanding or another lawfully approved person for the benefit of the client/persistent unless disallowed by law" (American Mental Affiliation, 2010). Second, Therapists unveil private data without the assent of the individual just as commanded by law if a judge requests the arrival of the customer's data, this is not a rupture of secrecy.

Discuss the implications of the third-party observer to the overall evaluation

The courts have acknowledged the outcome of any given test or assessment that has been performed entirely and intensely in light of the wrongdoer’s best passage. Break of ethic may come in if information that is thought to be classified is not protected relying upon the conditions can be a rupture of the law.  Giving out confidential information to a third party, and especially if the information is to be used for criminal or conventional procedures require that key steps should be taken keeping in mind the end goal to ensure the patient privacy.

When dealing with data collection, data interpretation, and written communication, Forensic Mental Health professionals deals with a third-party investigation making sure that any ethical or illegal line is not crossed. While putting forth a concentrated effort to the information gathering process the primary work of the third party specialists is to attempt to get a full understanding of the individual who's been dealt with. Further, the Australian Government, (2005), states that, if data acquired by a specialist for advancing his or her customer's causes were not favored, it 's hard to utilize a specialist to get the confirmation and data necessary to support a case.

The nearness of an individual not related with the analyst while assessing a patient debilitate trustworthiness, particularly if the outsider is a parent, lawyer, or court journalist, despite the fact that outside perception is not favored it is acknowledged. As indicated by Gavett, McCaffry 2007 who recommend that People have been appeared to perform inadequately on memory measures when an outsider eyewitness is available (Gavett, & McCaffrey,2007). There is an assortment of the motivation behind why outsiders are not an ideal approach to direct a psychological well-being assessment, the clinician requirement for the patient/customer to be casual and open to state things to him/her that they would not regularly tell others. It's vital to keep the customer/patients tension levels as typical as could reasonably be expected. 

 It is accepted that third party, for instance, an attorney of the victim, court reporter or a parent, may be available during the evaluation of the offender though this is not always recommended. Gavett and McCaffry indicate Individuals have been performing poorly in memory measures if they are assessed in the presence of a third party (Gavett, & McCaffrey,2007).  There are numerous reasons why third parties are not an ideal approach to direct a psychological well-being assessment, psychologist requirement for the patient to be casual and open to state things to him or her that they would not regularly tell others. It is always recommended that assessor should to keep the patient anxiety level as normal as possible.  Horwitz, & McCaffrey stipulates that “Past reviews have demonstrated that the presence of a third party observer is related to poorer execution on tests of memory, focus, consideration, learning, and effort" (Horwitz, & McCaffrey, 2008). The response to permitting a Third Party will be affected by legal, proficient, moral, and useful issues. The key is more practical information on outsider perception. There ought to be hard actualities that can stick point the accurate measure of harm the third party presents can cause to a general emotional wellness examination, particularly if the patient is already unstable.

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Horwitz, J. E., & McCaffrey, R. J. (2008). Effects of a third party observer and anxiety on tests of executive function. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 23(4), 409-417.

Gavett, B. E., & McCaffrey, R. J. (2007). The influence of an adaptation period in reducing the third party observer effect during a neuropsychological evaluation. Archives of clinical neuropsychology, 22(6), 699-710.

Neurofocus Center. (n.d). Behavioral health Clinic. Limits on Confidentiality. Retrieved on 18th Jun 2017 from http://www.neurofocuscenter.com/limitations-of-confidentiality.html

Fisher, M. A. (2008). Protecting confidentiality rights: The need for an ethical practice model. American Psychologist, 63(1), 1.

Werth Jr, J. L., Welfel, E. R., Benjamin, G. A. H., & Vasquez, M. J. Facing Dangerous Situations: Increasing Clarity about the Duty to Protect. Retrieved from https://books.apa.org/pubs/books/4312013c.pdf

American Psychological Association. (2010). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct including 2010 amendments. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx

American Psychology-Law Society. (2011). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychology: Adopted by APA Council of Representatives [Unofficial version]. Retrieved from http://www.ap-ls.org/aboutpsychlaw/ SGFP_Final_Approved_2011.pdf

 

 

 

 

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  • Assignment 2: RA: Ethical Issues during Forensic Assessments
    $20.00

    Ethical Issues During Forensic Assessments Student’s Name University Affiliate Identify the appropriate APA ethical standards and the forensic specialty guidelines that may apply to this scenario. An Ethical issue may arise when carrying out an assessment on a sexually violent predator. The main thing that is put into consideration first is whether or not a civil commitment hearing is justified, once that is built up measure must be taken so as to present a demand for disavowing an individual ideal to be discharged once his time has been served. The ground meant

    Submitted on: 29 Oct, 2017 07:26:42 This tutorial has not been purchased yet .