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Commentary: toward a unified theory of personal and professional ethics
Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center Publications and Presentations
  • Richard Martinez, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
  • Philip J. Candilis, University of Massachusetts Medical School
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Psychiatry
Publication Date
Document Type
Attitude of Health Personnel; *Ethics, Medical; *Ethics, Professional; Forensic Psychiatry; Humans; Moral Obligations; Narration; Physicians; Prejudice

In response to Dr. Ezra Griffith's essay, we support the view that forensic practice cannot be cleanly divided from its ethics foundation in medical and general psychiatric practice. Personal and professional values cannot be separated in formulating a unified theory of ethics for professionalism in forensic practice. We support Dr. Griffith's narrative perspective and offer a delineation of how narratives may be considered in forensic work. We would like readers to focus on both the duties and the moral ideals that ultimately define professional ethics. By honoring personal and professional narratives together, forensic professionals can advocate and reshape a system that devalues non-dominant cultures. They can also recognize more easily the influences that affect their forensic work. This kind of forensic practice, informed by narrative ethics while respecting fundamental principles, can be an essential part of what we aspire to as forensic professionals. As we argued in an earlier work, a robust professionalism for forensic psychiatry cannot ignore our physician background or our diverse personal histories. Dr. Griffith's essay contributes forcefully to the development of such a view.

J Am Acad Psychiatry Law. 2005;33(3):382-5.
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Richard Martinez and Philip J. Candilis. "Commentary: toward a unified theory of personal and professional ethics" Vol. 33 Iss. 3 (2005) ISSN: 1093-6793 (Linking)
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