Forensic Ethics and the Expert Witness

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry

Publication Date


Document Type



Forensic Medicine; Forensic Psychiatry; Expert Testimony; Ethics, Professional


Bioethics and Medical Ethics | Health Services Research | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology


Summary: The expert witness' job is often described as a balancing act: duty to clients on the one hand, duty to society on the other. Forensic Ethics and the Expert Witness probes beyond this familiar conflict of interest framework to present a new, innovative model of professional ethics. Illustrated with cases from medicine, psychiatry, and law, this volume examines the common moral ground that links these usually separate domains, and relates forensic ethics to larger concepts of morality and justice. In this integrative approach, the expert witness is redefined as one who can balance professional with societal and personal codes in what the authors call "robust professionalism." Three renowned ethicists: Analyze ethical dilemmas expert witnesses commonly encounter in the courtroom; Explore the thought and practice of ethical expert witnesses; Address important questions concerning confidentiality, objectivity in testimony, and the relationship between witness and attorney; Integrate trends in moral reasoning from other fields, from classical philosophy to social contract theory to bioethics; Review standards of conduct from relevant professional organizations; Apply this discussion to the most debated areas, including competence, the insanity defense, right-to-die, and death penalty cases.


Candilis P, Weinstock R, Martinez R. “Forensic Ethics and the Expert Witness,” Springer Publishing Co., 2007. ISBN 0387353801, 9780387353807.

Preview available via Google Books.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Forensic Ethics and the Expert Witness