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Ethical Controversies in Forensic Psychiatry

Abhishek Karn, Birendra Kumar Mandal, Sanjeev Ranjan.


Conflicts between the various ethical principles not only practical, but also conceptual, are commonplace in forensic psychiatry as many professional responsibilities and activities of forensic psychiatry are unique to the field, where duties to patients often conflict with duties to third parties for instance the community. The ethical issues in forensic psychiatry are multifaceted and more controversial than in general psychiatry. Forensic psychiatry, more than other disciplines, has been besieged as an area most in need to provide protection of patient's rights. The discussion on these ethical issues has to keep pace with the growth of science, socioeconomic conditions and changing democratic processes. We point that justice should be vital in forensic psychiatry, and that there is a want for a more specific code of ethics to cover specialized areas of medicine like forensic psychiatry and the paths that need to be considered for the purpose should include the com-bination of ideal standards with enforceable set of rules after collecting and analysing as many practically encountered ethical problems as possible in the course of practice, and by regularly updating the code.

Key words: Forensic psychiatry, ethics, dilemma, controversy

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