Commentary: the higher standards of aspirational ethics

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry



Document Type


Medical Subject Headings

*Ethics, Professional; Forensic Psychiatry; Humans; United States


Behavioral Disciplines and Activities | Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Health Services Administration | Law | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


In response to a case presented by Dr. David Menkes, the authors argue for a standard of forensic practice that aspires to more than minimal requirements of ethics and law. Professional ethics for forensic experts require acknowledgment of both the duties and ideals of the profession if they are to meet societal expectations, honor the intent of legal procedure, and overcome jaundiced views of the "hired gun." Common values of transparency, truth-telling, and respect for moral relationships in professional work are suggested for analysis of this case, as are respect for the profession and its historical narrative. In fact, a robust professional ethic that requires broader consideration of personal, professional, and community values finds renewed expression in this ethical analysis.

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Citation: J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2006;34(2):242-4.

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