As the 2016 presidential election approaches, psychologists are gaining media attention by diagnosing candidates as having personality disorders, especially for the Republican nominee. But the public should question whether or not offering these diagnoses is professionally ethical or in the service of political agendas.
As reflected in a recent New York Times article, the candidacy of Donald Trump has tempted some psychologists to abandon their unique training in mental health assessment and provide unprofessional diagnoses of Mr. Trump that, according to Celia B. Fisher, Director Fordham University’s Center for Ethics Education, “distort the values of their profession and violate the public trust”.
“Trained mental health practitioners serve the public good by providing diagnoses of individuals based on scientifically and professionally established assessment techniques,” notes Fisher, who chaired the committee that wrote the current American Psychological Association’s (APA) Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct, “however the public and the profession are harmed when psychologists provide opinions based on unsubstantiated information drawn from media reports or other subjective observations.”
There have been claims suggesting that psychologists who offer diagnoses of Donald Trump are doing so for the purpose of national and public interest. According to Fisher, who is the author of the widely read Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologists, “Psychologists who claim that ‘Trumpism’ is a threat to democracy that provides moral justification to offer public diagnoses in the absence of established assessment techniques are deluding themselves into thinking that these unprofessional opinions benefit society.” Fisher further explains that psychologists are actually in “clear violation of the APA Ethics Code and are inadvertently contributing to a political climate based on opinion rather than fact.”
Celia B. Fisher, Ph.D. is the Fordham University Marie Ward Doty University Chair in Ethics and Director of the Center for Ethics Education. In addition to chairing the 2002 revision of the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Code, Fisher’s Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide for Psychologist, is now in its fourth edition from Sage Publications.
Posted in Contemporary Ethical Issues, In the News, Uncategorized
Tagged American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, APA, Celia B. Fisher, Decoding the Ethics Code, diagnosis, Donald Trump, Ethics, Ethics Code, Fordham University, New York Times, psychologists, Psychology
The dearth of HIV prevention research on LGBT individuals under 18 years of age is at least partially a result of conservative Institutional Review Boards (IRBs), according to new research by Fordham University Center for Ethics Education Director Dr. Celia B. Fisher, and colleague Dr. Brian Mustanski of Northwestern University’s IMPACT Program.
Fisher and Mustanski describe this problem in their article, “HIV Rates Are Increasing in Gay/Bisexual Teens: IRB Barriers to Research Must Be Resolved to Bend the Curve,” to be published by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged AIDS, American Journal of Preventative Medicine, bisexual teens, Brian Mustanski, Celia B. Fisher, Ethics, Gay teens, HIV Prevention, HIV rates, HIV research, institutional review boards, IRBs, LGBT youth, Research Ethics, Reuters
Photo via freedigitalphotos.net.
UnitedHealth Medicare plan must cover U.S. sex reassignment surgery
A U.S. government panel has ruled that a privately run Medicare plan must cover sex reassignment surgery for a Texas transgender woman, a decision her attorney says was the first of its kind.
New wearable sensor can collect data from sweat
For the first time, a flexible, wearable sensor can collect data about multiple chemicals in body sweat.
Drug shortages forcing hard decisions on rationing treatments
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Posted in Newsfeed
Tagged Bioethics, Brazil, Britain, designer babies, epidemic, Ethics, Flint, genetic enhancement, genetic modifications, human embryos, Internet of Things, Medicare, MI, microencephaly, mosquito, Newsfeed, open-access publishing, rationing treatments, sex reassignment surgery, STI, United Kingdom, UnitedHealth, wearable sensor, Zika virus
- The Ethics of Autonomous Cars
- Patrick Lin examines if there is a break between ethics and laws when it comes to robotic cars and future automobile innovations. What kind of judgements can machines make?
- An Unprecedented Threat to Privacy
- Edward Delman examines police departments with access to over 20,000 license plates. He notes the inherent privacy violation of the cases, and critically examines the NYPD, who contain their own license tracking software.
Posted in Newsfeed
Tagged autonomous cars, Bernie Sanders, China, environmental racism, Ethics, Flint, Google, Harvard University, Israel, license plates, mandatory virginity testing, marriage equality, Michigan, NYPD, Palestine, poverty, Pretoria, privacy, race, reparations, self driving cars, settlement business, South Africa, Ta-Nehisi Coates, tracking software, tuition, water crisis
By Robert Schmaltz
December 3, 2015, a BBC News headline reads “California Shooting: Just another day in the United States of America, another day of gunfire, panic, and fear.” By all measures this act of violence claiming the lives of at least fourteen persons, maiming over twenty bodies, and shattering the lives of countless others, constitutes another mass shooting spilling blood over the social fabric of these United States.
Posted in Contemporary Ethical Issues, Fordham University Student Voices
Tagged BBC News, California, Ethics, Fordham University Ethics & Society MA, Gun Control, gun violence, Human dignity, humanity, Kant, massacre, Robert Schmaltz, San Bernadino, shooting, Ted Alcorn, U.S.