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The Nuremburg Defense

Over time, a society's perception of human rights changes. These changes have often been the result of negative events that motivated society to adapt its values in an attempt to avoid the occurrence of similar incidents. In this paper, a current ethical issue that resulted from repeated negative events will be explored in terms of how it motivated the adaptation of the APA Ethics Code.

General Requirements:

Use the following information to ensure successful completion of the assignment:
Support all statements with appropriate, contemporary research. Cite and reference at least two scholarly sources other than those in the module and assignment readings.
Review the following:
American Psychological Association. (2009, August 5).APA Council of Representatives directs change in its ethics code to prevent so-called Nuremberg defense. APA News and Events.
American Psychological Association. (2010, February 24). American Psychological Association amends ethics code to address potential conflicts among professional ethics, legal authority, and organizational demands. APA News and Events.
American Psychological Association. (2010). Standard 1: Resolving ethical issues. Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct: 2010 amendments.

Help answer the following:
What is the so-called Nuremberg defense? How did this influence the decision to clarify the APA Ethics Code?
How does the new verbiage in the 2010 Ethics Code enhance the APA Council of Representatives' resolution of 2007 and the referendum-based policy change of 2008 on the topic of human rights protection? Compare the current (2010) version of the Ethics Code to the 2002 version. Does the current version reflect a socially improving society or a socially declining society? Why?


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NOTE: I would begin my paper with an introduction explaining the Nuremburg incident that preceded the so-called Nuremburg defense such as:

(A) Introduction

Potential Thesis: The Nuremburg trials initiated the so-called Nuremburg defense to end crimes against humanity; however, modern-day war crimes suggest the practice has not ended. After the introduction, you would explain the Nuremburg defense; and discuss how it evolved to be a part of the ethics code. Finally, you provide a summation that link, the Nuremburg trial, the development of the Nuremburg defense, a discussion of the APA guidelines on human protection, and the applicable Standards (1.2 and 1.3) together. Good luck with your paper.

(1) In 1944, the Nuremburg trials exposed the horror that was inflicted upon captives of war. It had been proposed that the captives be tried in court and treated as conspirators. The court, The International Military Tribunal was comprised of one judge and one alternate judge from each country (Horton, 2009).

(2) The trial began with the reading of indictments concerned with four counts. (1) Conspiracy to wage aggressive war, (2) Waging an aggressive war against peace [or violation against international treaties] (3) "war crimes," addressed more traditional violations of the laws of war such as the killing or mistreatment of prisoners of war and the use of outlawed weapons, and (4) crimes against humanity," addressed crimes committed against Jews, ethnic minorities, the physically and mentally disabled, civilians in occupied countries, and other persons (Linder, 2000).

(3) Twelve trials involving over 100 defendants took place from 1945 to 1949.According to Linder, the greatest of these crimes against humanity was the mass murder of Jews in concentration camps. The first phase focused on establishing the criminality of various components of the Nazi regime, while the second sought to establish the guilt of individual defendants. Robert Jackson would argue in his opening statement that the crimes was so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate ignoring them, nor could they ever be repeated. (Linder, 2000).

(B) What is the so-called Nuremberg defense? How did this influence the decision to clarify the APA Ethics Code?

(1) The "Nuremberg defense"—the charge that crimes against humanity are unethical Amato, Gould, & Woods, 1969) Nuremberg Defense refers to the strategies used at the Nuremburg trial to convict Nazi regime including individuals involved in carrying out the crimes of war crimes and crimes against humanity (D'Amato, Gould, & Woods, 1969).

(2) Nuremberg underscored the consequences of adhering to some basic ethical responsibilities. After an archival data were submitted by Geuter (1992 as cited in Pope & Guthell, 2009) in which it was revealed that "psychologists cooperated with the army, state, party, and industry based upon the perception that they were acting as reformers.

(3) Based upon this information, the APA voted to change its ethics code. The previous code (Standard 1.02) held psychologists individually accountable for their ethical responsibilities even when in conflict with laws, orders, and other forms of governmental ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the concept of the Nuremburg defense from the perspective of the APA Code of Ethics.