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ETHICS COMMITTEE, DIVISION 40
Minutes of Meeting, August 14, 1994
Rexford Room, Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles
(Prior to the formal opening of the meeting, two visitors were greeted. Dr. Carl Dodrill, president-elect of Division 40, expressed his interest in the committee and asked to remain for a portion of the meeting to help familiarize himself with its workings. Dr. Doug Johnson-Greene introduced himself and asked persmission to attend as an interested member of the Division. He was welcomed, though it was explained that some issues might be raised which involved individuals and demanded confidentiality, and that he would be excused for those portions of the meeting.)
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson John McSweeny at 8:30 A.M. Present were John McSweeny, Bruce Becker, Anne Schneider and Melvin Scwartz. Gary Snow was unable to attend the convetion and was absent from this meeting.
A. It was moved and seconded that theminutes of the last meeting be approved.
B. Dr. McSweeny reported on the discussions at the APA Ethics Update he attended on Saturday, August 13. Concerns were expressed there about the pervasive legal ramifications of ethics committee actions. Florida Psychological Association has stopped investigating individual cases, referring them to the APA Ethics Committee. Wisconsin Psychological Association is using a mediation approach whenever possible. The APA Ethics Committee is continuing to conduct ethics investigations. Of 707 complaints, 227 became formal cases.
The deadline for 'comments on the ethics revision was extended to August, 1994. A Commentary on the ethics code is scheduled to be published as a book in November, 1994. APA is beginning to collect cases for a casebook as well. In 1995 a committee will be appointed to begin the next major revision.
C. Two inquiries to the Division 40 Ethics Committee were discussed in some detail after visitors were excused.
Inquiry #1-94 concerned a neuropsychologist in private practice who was using quantitative EEG. The key ethical issue was whether he was practicing outside his area of competence (Standard I.04) and whether the technique itself was of proven value. It was noted that several medical societies had issued statements declaring the
technique to be experimental and as yet of unproven validity for clinical and forensic use, even by qualified electroencephalographers.
Inquiry #3-94 concerned the issue of multiple evaluations of head-inqured plaintiffs as part of the litigation process. This was regarded as an issue concerning standard of practice rather than ethics violations per se, and the issue was discussed. No official action was taken by the committee on either issue, but they were regarded as important, and will be discussed further.
D. The Announcement to be submitted to The Clinical Neuropsychologist regarding an ethics column was submitted for review. Its endorsement was moved and seconded.
E. It was decided that Dr. Bruce Crosson, recently selected to chair the task force on the definition of a neuropsychologist, will be invited to attend the next meeting of this Committee.
F. The request in the Division 40 Newsletter for ethics cases to be discussed produced one repsonse. A reply to the respondent has been drafted by Dr. McSweeny.
G. Dr. Miriam Kelty, chairperson of the Division 38 Ethics Committee, has been invited to hsare ideas of common interest.
H. It was announced that the APA book on ethics in research on human subjects is being revised.
I. Plans were reviewed for the Conversation Hour scheduled for later in the day. The agenda was discussed and minor revisions suggested.
J. The next meeting of the Committee was discussed. It was decided that it would probably be a breakfast meeting at the next national convention to be attended by most members: NAN, INS, or APA.
K. The meeting was adjourned by Dr. McSweeny at approximately 10:00 A.M.
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