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Impact of the APA's Ethical Standards and Codes

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Evaluate the impact of the APA's ethical standards and codes on professional practice in the field of psychology.

Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence.
Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility.
Principle C: Integrity.
Principle D: Justice.
Principle E: Respect for People's Rights and Dignity.

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Evaluate the impact of the APA's ethical standards and codes on professional practice in the field of psychology.

NOTE: According to the American Psychological Association's (APA's) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, principles are not enforceable rules, and are said to only be considered by psychologists in arriving at an ethical course of action..." See: http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx


Standards & Codes - Found on PAGE 3: http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx

Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence.

"Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. In their professional actions, psychologists seek to safeguard the welfare and rights of those with whom they interact professionally and other affected persons, and the welfare of animal subjects of research. When conflicts occur among psychologists' obligations or concerns, they attempt to resolve these conflicts in a responsible fashion that avoids or minimizes harm. Because psychologists' scientific and professional judgments and actions may affect the lives of others, they are alert to and guard against personal, financial, social, organizational, or political factors that might lead to misuse of their influence. Psychologists strive to be aware of the possible effect of their own physical and mental health on their ability to help those with whom they work."

Firstly, beneficence is "the doing of good; active goodness or kindness; charity." Maleficence is the doing of evil or harm, thus Nonmaleficence is the opposite, or simply *not* doing harm. The impact of this standard on professional practice in the field of psychology is that psychologists must work to do good (no harm) unto oneself or those in treatment.


* Jeffrey Barnett, Psy.D. (n.d.) emphasizes that, "without necessary attention to our own care we will not adequately be able to help others and prevent harm to them."

* Dr. Stevens Atkins says, "Our roles may affect others so be alert to and guard against personal/financial factors that might lead to misuse of influence..."

* Virginia Gutman of Gallaudet University says, "When deaf clients are improperly diagnosed, inappropriately treated, or refused needed treatment, [Beneficence & Nonmaleficence] principles are violated.
See: http://jdsde.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/reprint/10/2/171.pdf

* Lefaivre, et al reference, "researchers should provide information that may positively impact quality of life or reduce harm. Moreover, researchers are obligated to provide any information to a participant's parents or ...

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Evaluate the impact of the APA's ethical standards and codes

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APA's Code of Ethics vs APA's Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychology draws on the ethical codes and standards of the American Psychological Association to guide its professionals in ethical behaviour in forensic settings. Due to the nature of forensic psychology and its intersection with the law, specialty guidelines for forensic psychology also are necessary.

American Psychology-Law Society's (AP-LS) "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists'" often are described as an extension of the American Psychological Association's (APA) "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct" also known as the "Ethics Code." Many of the AP-LS Specialty Guidelines have their basis in specific items from APA's "Ethics Code." As you review each set of codes and guidelines take note of the connections between the APA's "Ethics Code" and their counterparts in AP-LS "Specialty Guidelines..." Ethical codes and guidelines are an important part of helping professions, such as forensic psychology.

Explain the relationship between the APA's "Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct" and the AP-LS "Specialty Guidelines for Forensic Psychologists'". Describe three specialty guidelines and provide concrete examples of where the guidelines might apply. Share an insight or draw a conclusion based on your exploration of APA and AP-LS codes and specialty guidelines ethical codes.

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