Legal and Ethical Issues

Legal and Ethical Issues
What would you do if your family was starving and you could discretely steal a loaf of bread to feed them? This is a legal and ethical dilemma. As you saw in the Learning Resources this week, legal and ethical dilemmas do occur in diagnosis and assessment, and they are intimately related; however, they do not always rest comfortably together. Although there may not always be clear answers to ethical and legal dilemmas, your ability to address them is a key factor in providing clients with the best possible care.

To prepare:
• Review the resources below.
• Focus on the APA ethics codes and the AP-LS specialty guidelines for forensic psychologists’.
• Go to Georgia’s state website and review its legal and ethical guidelines.
• Consider any legal guidelines that may be in conflict with the ethical guidelines.
• If you noted differences between legal, ethical, and specialty guidelines, think about how would you reconcile them.

With these thoughts in mind:
Write your thoughts about how various legal guidelines, ethics codes, and specialty guidelines influence diagnosis and assessment in general. Reference at least one potential conflict between laws in Georgia, ethical guidelines, or specialty guidelines and explain how you might address the conflict.

Resources:
• American Psychology-Law Society (AP-LS). (n.d.). Specialty guidelines for forensic psychologists. Retrieved from 
http://www.ap-ls.org/aboutpsychlaw/SpecialtyGuidelines.php
• American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from
http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx
• American Psychological Association. (n.d.). Guidelines for providers of psychological services to ethnic, linguistic, and culturally diverse populations. Retrieved from 
http://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/policy/provider-guidelines.aspx
• Association of State and Provincial Psychology Boards. (n.d.) ASPPB code of conduct. Retrieved from
http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.asppb.net/resource/resmgr/guidelines/code_of_conduct_updated_2013.pdf

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