Return to APA Collection Inventory Page
Image file of document
Text of document:
Report of the Division 40 Ethics Committee
(Revised 1 /I 3/93)
Wednesday, February 2
1. Second Meeting - The Ethics Committee of Division 40 held its second meeting on Saturday, August 21, 1993 in the Hotel Novotel in Toronto, Ontario. The members of the Committee were all present: A. John McSweeny (Chair), Bruce Becker, Anne W. Schneider, Melvin L. Schwartz, and W. Gary Snow.
Members of the Committee discussed several issues covered in the report of August 20, including the response to the request for comments on the draft of the APA Ethics Guide and the response of the Chair to an inquiry concerning the ethical implications of a training program.
The Committee asked Drs. Walter McKeever and Wiley Mittenberg to consider developing suggestions for the revision of the APA book Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Research with Human Participants and to allow their names to be submitted to the Science Directorate as nominees for the committee to revise the book.
The Committee considered requests from several persons who expressed an interest in joining the Committee and decided not to expand the size of the Committee at present noting that a major increase in size would create logistical problems in arranging meetings and decrease efficiency in decision making. However, the Committee decided that it would be well worthwhile to utilize the expertise of the volunteers as consultants on specific topics or to carry out specific tasks relevant to their expertise.
The Committee gave approval for the Chair and Dr. Richard Naugle to pursue a proposal for a TCN column” on ethical issues in clinical neuropsychology which would be negotiated with TCN editors Drs. Kenneth Adams and Byron Rourke. The Committee discussed but took no action on a suggestion by Dr. Chelune for a Division 40 Symposium on Ethical Practices. It was the understanding of the Chair that Dr. Chelune would be making a more specific proposal at a later time.
The Committee discussed possible revisions to the 1992 ethics code. In general, the Committee noted that the revised code is primarily aimed at the practice of psychotherapy and does not address issues relevant to clinical neuropsychology with the same level of detail.
The Committee revised and approved a draft of a statement concerning the functions of the Division 40 Ethics Committee. This will be submitted to the Division 40 Executive Committee for its approval.
The Committee noted that the ethical casebook for clinical neuropsychologists being prepared by Drs. Jerry Brittain and Jeffery Barth was a project that should be encouraged and the Chair stated he would recommend that members contribute cases at the Division 40 business meeting.
The Committee also discussed the need for a budget to cover costs of meeting rooms and miscellaneous expenses.
2. Ethical Principles in the Conduct of Research with Human Participants. Dr. Wiley Mittenberg agreed to submit comments and volunteer to serve on the committee to revise this book. Drs. Mittenberg and McSweeny submitted comments to the APA Science Directorate by the deadline of September 15 and Dr. Mittenberg's name was submitted as the nominee from Division 40. We later learned that Dr. Mittenberg was not selected to serve on the revisions committee by the Science Directorate. Copies of the comments submitted are available from Dr. McSweeny. Mary Beth Hanley of the Science Directorate has indicated that there will be an opportunity for interested persons to comment on the revised draft and that she will inform us when it is available.
3. TCN "Column.” Drs. Naugle and McSweeny submitted a proposal to the editors of TCN, Drs. Adams and Rourke, concerning a feature column” in TCN with the tentative title The Ethical Neuropsychologist.” We have a received a positive initial response form Dr. Rourke and are proceeding with the development of a more detailed proposal.
4. Inquiries concerning membership. Drs. James R. Youngjohn and
Robert L. Mapou wrote the Chair to express an interest in joining the Committee.
They were thanked for their interest and asked to serve as consultants
on topics of special interest. Both have agreed to do so.
5. Ethics Casebook for clinical Neuropsycholooists. The Committee would like to remind all members of Division 40 that Drs. Jerry Brittain and Jeffery Barth are developing a casebook of ethical situations and are interested in receiving case vignettes. In accordance with Dr. Mel Schwartz's advice, the cases should be well disguised. Cases should be sent to: Jerry L. Brittain, Ph.D., Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, VA 237085000.
6. Revisions to APA Ethics Code. The APA Ethics Policy and Education Committee (PEC) is recommending revisions to standards 1.27 (Referrals and Fees), 2.02 (Competence and Appropriate Use of Assessments and Interventions), 6.07 (Responsibility), and 8.07 (Improper Complaints) of the 1992 Code of Ethics. Details of the proposed changes are available from any of the members of the Division 40 Ethics Committee or from the APA Ethics Office.
The APA Ethics Committee has also recommended that more time for comments on the 1992 code be allowed and a call for additional comments will appear in the Monitor in the Spring. The Division 40 Committee submitted 17 suggestions (apparently more than any other division or state association) by the original deadline of August 31, 1993. Division 40 members who would like to submit additional comments may do so through the Chair of the Division 40 Ethics Committee or directly to the APA Ethics office. Members who submit their comments directly to the APA Ethics Office are requested to copy their letters to the Division 40 Ethics Committee Chair.
7. Communications with APA Ethics Office. Dr. McSweeny has asked Dr. Jones of the APA Ethics Office for clarification of his status as a monitor” of the APA Ethics Committee given that he has not received any minutes to date. A plea for better communications between divisional ethics chairs and the APA Ethics Office was made in addition to a request for divisional chairs to be included in the annual ethics update conducted by the APA Ethics Office. Dr. Jones has responded affirmatively with a promise to begin sending the minutes and to consider how divisional ethics chairs might be involved in the annual update.
8. Conversation Hour. The Division 40 Program Committee has accepted a proposal for a Conversation Hour involving the Ethics Committee at the 1994 Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The Conversation Hour will introduce the Committee to the membership of Division 40 and permit the open discussion of ethical issues relevant to neuropsychologists.
MINUTES OF THE ETHICS COMMITTE, DIVISION 40
August 21, 1993
The meeting was called to order by Chairperson John McSweeny at 5:00 p.m.at the Hotel Novotel. Anne Schneider served as recording secretary. Present were John McSweeny, Bruce Becker, Anne Schneider, Melvin Schwartz, and Gary Snow. Agenda items were addressed as follows.
1. Informational Item: Response to APA Ethics Guidebook. Chairnerson McSweenev informed the committee that an "Ethics Guidebook"is being prepared to serve as a supplement to the APA Ethics Code by several individuals who were involved in the last revision of the Code as adopted by the Council. These indivduals are Drs.Bruce Bennett, Stan Jones,Tom Nagy and Mathilda Canter. Dr. Canter is serving as co-ordinator. The book will be published by APA but it wil not be an official APA policy document. Dr. McSweeney reviewed a draft of the guidebook and submitted his comments for their consideration. Due to time constraints,other members of the committee were not consulted. The guidebook draft and his comments are available for review by other committee members.
2. Inquiry Concerning Ethical Implications of a Traininq Program Dr. McSweeny shared with the committee an inquiry he had received concerning a proposal to train individuals in school psychology as neurobehavioral specialists. An ethical issue concerning conflict of interest was raised,as several individuals involved in developing the training program were to have dual roles as faculty and as evaluators of the program. Dr. McSweeny discussed this issue with the person making the inquiry and suggested that he contact the state association ethics committee and/or the APA ethics committee for further consultation. A second issue concerned the advisability of training and certifying masters level clinicians in neuropsychology, given that Division 40 has suggested that doctoral level training should be the minimum standard. It was Dr. McSweeny's view that this constituted a professional issue rather than an ethical one, and he referred the matter to Dr. Parsons. The committee consensus agreed with this action.
3. Call for comments: Ethical Principles in the conduct of research with human participants. After discussion the commmittee decided to request a resource person to review the draft of these APA principles. Walter McKeever and * Wiley were suggested as inviduals with particular interest and expertise in the area. Dr. McSweeny will contact both persons to see if they are willing to review the draft. To insure that the Division 40 Ethics Committee obligations are met,comments prepared by the resource persons will be submitted to Dr. McSweeny for review before submission to the APA committee.
4. Report of the Ethics Committee to Division 40. A report of the first meeting of the Ethics Committee, submitted to Division 40, was reviewed and approved by the Committee.
5. Interested Prospective Members. Dr. Parsons has forwarded letters from a number of individuals who have expressed their interest in Committee membership. Dr. McSweeny informed the Committee that he had sent letters to each individual acknowledging their interest and indicating that their name would be kept on file as a consultant. Committee discussion centered around the advisability of adding members, the most effective committee size for deliberation and decision making, logistic difficulties involved with increased committee size, and possible roles for consultants to the committee. It was decided that for the present interested persons should be utilized as consultants and possible additions to the Committee be considered in the future.
6. Suggestion from Dr.Naugle for a TCN column. In his letter of interest in Committee membership, Dr. Richard Naugle suggested that the Ethics Committee author a column in The Clinical Neuropsychologist. There was considerable interest in this suggestion,and after extended discussion it was decided that Dr. McSweeny will discuss the concept with Editors Byron Rourke and Kenneth Adams to determine if there would be interest in, or obstacles to,such a column from an editorial viewpoint. There was also discussion that the proposed column could contain a disclaimer indicating that opinions do not represent the position of Division 40. If the discussions with the editors are encouraging,Dr. McSweeny will bring the matter back to the Committee at the next meeting. It was proposed that Dr. Naugle be contacted to see if he would be interested in co-editing such a column with Dr. McSweeny. If all parties are in agreement, the plan would be to then submit a proposal to Dr. Heaton, President of Division 40, for his review.
7. Suggestion for Division 40 Symposium on Ethical Practices. Dr. Gordon Chelune has suggested that a symposium concerning ethical issues be sponsored by Division 40 at the APA meetings in 1994. This was a general suggestion without submission of a specific proposal. Dr. McSweeny suggested that a conversation hour concerning ethical issues might be held, and Dr. Snow suggested that a joint presentation concerning ethical issues might include Division 38 (Health Psychology) and Division 41 (Forensic Psychology). No action was taken.
8. Review of Committee comments on revised APA Ethics Code. Dr. McSweeny's compilation of suggestions for revision of the Ethics Code were reviewed. Committee members discussed a number of concerns about different aspects of the code which will not be addressed by APA until the next major-revision is planned to begin in 1995,as they do not involve minor revisions to be included in the current "fine-tuning" of the code. Many of the issues arise from member's perception that the Ethics Code are
primarily directedtoward the practice of psychotherapists and that the code doesnot reflect the changing nature of clinical practice in psychology.
It was pointed out by Dr.Snow that issues relevant to clinical practice in Health Psychology and Neuropsychology, for example, are not addressed by the code and that the code does not reflect ususal and customary practice in these developing specialties. Dr. Schwartz raised an issue concerning the restrictions placed on release of data to a third party,as current guidelines seem too rigid, particularly in the legal arena. He will fax a comment concerning his views on this issue to Dr. McSweeny. Dr. Becker expressed his view that there should be standards developed as to the what identifies a neuropsychologist. He made the suggestion that when standards for providers of a specialty service are formulated by an APA division, they should become part of the Ethics Code.
Although the "fine tuning"revision of the Ethics Code by the APA committee will not address major issues, it was suggested by Dr. Schneider that it is important for these concerns to be placed on record,perhaps by a letter to the APA Ethics Committee. Further discussion of these issues was delayed to the next meeting of the Committee. Dr. McSweeny shared with the Committee members a draft of a Division 40 statement of what constitutes clinical neuropsychology.
9. Draft of Ethics Committee Functions. Dr. McSweeny submitted a draft of the"Functions of the Division 40 Ethics Committee" for review. These were accepted by the Committee with corrections of minor typographical errors. A corrected copy of the draft is attached as an addendum to these minutes.
10. Ethical Casebook by Jerry Brittain and Jeffrey Barth. Information concerning a proposed casebook for ethical practice in neuropsychology by Drs.Brittain and Barth was distributed. There was general agreement that the project be encouraged, and it was suggested by Dr.Schwartz that cases be well disguised as litigation might still be pending in certain cases.
11. Committee Budqet. Dr. McSweeny indicated his intention of submitting a budget proposal to cover costs of meeting rooms and miscellaneous expenses for the Committee.
12. New Business. There were no new items of business.
The meeting adjourned at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting of the Committee
will be scheduled during the INS meetings in Cincinati in February, 1994.
(End of text)