foren_scope_limits_08 - 1 Forensic Neuropsychology Scope...

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1 Forensic Neuropsychology Forensic Neuropsychology Scope and Limits of Neuropsychological Testimony Scope and Limits of Neuropsychological Testimony May 29, 2008 2 Class Topics Class Topics Description of criminal and civil process Professional and ethical issues for neuro-psychologists and other mental health experts Issues discussions: Should mental health practitioners be experts? Is our science sufficiently advanced? Ethical scenarios and solutions 3 Criminal Proceedings Criminal Proceedings Detention for probable cause (40-50% certainty) Booking at police station Initial hearing 48-72 hrs Defense motions and discovery Prima Facie showing Arraignment Trial Disposition Appeal Collateral Attack Dispositional Review Post-sentence Treatment Hearings 4 Civil Proceedings Complaint Pretrial Motions Discovery pretrial depositions interrogatories requests to produce Settlement or Trial civil jury returns majority verdict federal court: unanimous unless stipulated beforehand 5 Common Law and Statutory Duties of Evaluator I: Confidentiality Normal caveats regarding confidentiality do not normally apply; has implications for outcome of evaluation When defendant raises mental issue, generally forfeits right to doctor-patient privilege Confidentiality and prior treaters What patients must be told (see next slide) Who is the client? 6 Common Law and Statutory Duties II: Clarifying Relationships Common Law and Statutory Duties II: Clarifying Relationships Must clarify for all one’s various loyalties and obligations (e.g., philosophical opposition to death penalty) Must specify: who has asked you to perform evaluation purpose of evaluation who will see report potential future activities (e.g., deposition, trial testimony) Should assess patient’s understanding of these issues 7 Common Law and Statutory Duties III: Common Law and Statutory Duties III: Tarasoff Tarasoff Duty Duty
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Duty to warn in the event of dangerousness General Guidelines: person in danger must be named or evident (doesn’t apply to overly general threats) notification of police, not necessarily direct warning of person, is permissible Question: Do you warn in a non-Tarasoff state? 8 Common Law and Statutory Duties IV: Freedom of Choice to Freedom of Choice to Participate Participate Normally a part of clinical service delivery, informed consent is minimally relevant to forensic evaluations Consent to participate is patient’s choice , but (s)he should be made aware of consequences of their choice; there may be law-sanctioned consequences If patient declines : outline possible sanctions talk to attorney advise whether a report will be sent nonetheless don’t use scare tactics (“you’ll fry for this!”) Issue: Is patient “compelled” to participate?
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