Ethics in Forensic Sciences

Ethics in Forensic Sciences - and can be challenged on...

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Ethics in Forensic Sciences Ethics o The discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation o A set of moral principles: a theory or system of moral values o The principles of conduct governing an individual or a group o A criminalist who tells the truth and is of good moral character will not run into any ethical problems But is this always true? Are their morals in line with the ethics of the field? Code of ethics o A written set of rules that an organization lab, office, class, agrees to follow o Why is it important to have a code of ethics? Gives credibility to the field o Also used to prevent professional heresy, avoid litigation, and keep individuals from embarrassing the organization. o Aren’t morals enough? No! Morals can vary and they are not written down Morals do provide the based for many codes of ethics o AAFS CODE OF ETHICS http://www.aafs.org/ o Legal opinion – involves the interpretation of and inferences from law and can be challenged on legal grounds o Scientific Opinion – involves the interpretation of and inferences from data
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Unformatted text preview: and can be challenged on scientific grounds o Example: testing for Gunshot residue Scientific opinion: GR test matches fingerprints Legal opinion: suspect was defending himself • Daubert standard • In Anthropology o Treatment of the remains o Collecting data on unknown remains while in the lab? Or performing additional/non-standard tests on these remains? Not ethical o Collecting data on known remains while in the lab? Or performing additional/ non-standard tests on these remains? More ethical o Donated cases? Ethical o Keeping cool trauma or pathology specimens? Take photographs and return to family o Tweaking the data at the request of the police? Prosecutor? Family? No • The moral to the story o Don’t lie o Document everything o Don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice o And if you have to think twice about it, you probably shouldn’t do it...
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This note was uploaded on 04/18/2011 for the course ANT 3520 taught by Professor K during the Fall '10 term at University of Florida.

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Ethics in Forensic Sciences - and can be challenged on...

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