Welcome to the Nexus of Ethics, Psychology, Morality, Philosophy and Health Care

Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, philosophy and health care

Monday, March 21, 2016

The code not taken: The path from guild ethics to torture and our continuing choices

Pope, Kenneth S.
Canadian Psychology
Vol 57(1), Feb 2016, 51-59

Abstract

Psychology’s controversial role in torture in settings like Abu Ghraib, Bagram, and Guantánamo fractured a comforting façade and raised questions about how we can best serve the profession. The controversy confronts us with choices about what our profession is, what it means, what it does—who we are, what we mean, what we do. It asks whether our lives and organisations reflect professional ethics or guild ethics. Professional ethics protect the public against abuse of professional power, expertise, and practice, and hold members accountable to values beyond self-interest. Guild ethics place members’ interests above public interest, edge away from accountability, and tend to masquerade as professional ethics. Psychology’s path to involvement in torture began before 9/11 and the “war on terror” with a move from professional ethics to guild ethics. In sharp contrast to its previous codes, APA’s 1992 ethics code reflected guild ethics, as did the subsequent 2002 code (APA, 2002). Guild ethics are reflected in the questionable nature of APA’s, 2006, 2007a, 2008a, and 2015 policies on interrogation and torture. This article examines tactics used to maintain the façade of professional ethics despite over a decade of publicized reports of documentary evidence of psychology’s organisational involvement in what came to be called “enhanced interrogations.” It asks if we use versions of these tactics in our individual lives. If a credible identity, integrity, and professional ethics are not reflected in our individual lives, it is unlikely they will thrive in our profession and organisations.

The article is here.
Post a Comment