Professional versus personal ethics: methods for system reform?

R. D. Miller,
Bull. Amer. Acad. Psychiatry & the Law 20(2): 163-77, 1992.
It has been suggested that changes in, and more vigorous enforcement of, professional ethical codes might lead to significant improvements in the quality of expert testimony by mental health professionals. The author examines the arguments for and against this thesis, and concludes that lack of consensus on controversial issues is likely to impede implementation and enforcement of meaningful ethical codes. He argues that attempts to educate the courts and legislatures through writings, testimony, and interdisciplinary teaching are more likely to be effective for the foreseeable future.