Title

Should AAPL enforce its ethics? Challenges and solutions.

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

1-1-2014

Journal

Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law

Volume

42

Issue

3

Keywords

American Medical Association; Clinical Competence; Ethics, Medical; Expert Testimony; Forensic Psychiatry; Guidelines as Topic; Humans; Societies, Medical; United States

Abstract

Ethics enforcement in psychiatry occurs at the district branch and American Psychiatric Association (APA) levels under the guidance of American Medical Association (AMA) and APA ethics documents. Subspecialty ethics consequently have no formal role in the enforcement process. This reality challenges practitioners to work according to guidelines that may not be sufficiently relevant and challenges ethics reviewers to apply frameworks not intended for the subspecialties. This article offers the theoretical and practical support to amend APA Procedures to permit formal consideration of subspecialty ethics during ethics complaints and to include forensic practitioners on panels reviewing them. This is the first step toward an integration of two conflicting models of ethics enforcement, regulatory and aspirational, that bring together specialty and subspecialty ethics.

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