Topic: The Eggshell Defendant (Assessment of Psychological Injury) Kathy Hall ha
Topic: The Eggshell Defendant (Assessment of Psychological Injury)
Kathy Hall has had several episodes of clinical depression, the first one when she was 14 years old and the most recent one a year ago. She is currently 34 years old and takes an antidepressant at a prophylactic dose to prevent a fourth clinical depression episode. She has a high school education and no additional formal training. During her last job, she earned minimum wage. Kathy spends one day a week volunteering at her community library. The library was renovating one of the reading rooms and asked volunteers to help out with minor construction, painting, and clean-up. One of the city employees had just finished using a glass pitcher to store a caustic cleanser used to remove glue and paint from wood surfaces. During the busy clean-up, a young child asked Kathy for a drink of water. Unknowingly, Kathy mistook the pitcher of cleanser for water and poured the child a glass. As a result, the child suffered serious burns throughout her mouth and down her throat. Kathy is not held liable for the mistake, but the city is sued since the cleanser was placed in the pitcher by a city employee. The family of the child wins a $4 million lawsuit against the city. After the incident, Kathy experienced an episode of clinical depression and blamed herself for the accident. City law allows the city to seek compensation from individuals whose actions result in significant financial loss to the city. Based on this law, the city initiates a lawsuit against Kathy. The defense against the lawsuit and reliving the experience causes further emotional harm to Kathy. The court appoints a forensic psychologist on this case to conduct a personal injury evaluation on Kathy, and you are hired by the forensic psychologist to assist
him on this case.
Role of Ethics
a) Assess the forensic psychologist’s role relative to the potential ethical implications or ramifications in the scenario. For instance, what is the importance of maintaining objectivity or maintaining professionalism? Substantiate your claims, referencing the Ethical Principles for Psychologists and Code of Conduct.
b) Assess the potential risks associated with implementing forensic psychology practices specific to the scenario. For example, are there personal biases that would impact the forensic psychologist’s ability to be objective and fair in this scenario?
c) What is your recommended course of action regarding the risks you identified, demonstrating your adherence to high ethical standards in working with all relevant parties in the scenario?
i. For instance, how does a forensic psychologist still work clinically with a defendant when the psychologist would be required to release information obtained in an individual therapy session? Or what would be the ethical implications for a forensic psychologist working on a case in which the psychologist is privy to unethical behavior being engaged in on the part of other court officials?
Implications of Diversity
a) What are the implications of diversity (e.g., race, gender) on the effective delivery of forensic-related services relative to the scenario? Overall, what are the drawbacks to being insensitive to and not culturally aware of differences when working with clients?
b) How would you address issues of diversity in your selected scenario? In other words, what are your recommendations to the assigned forensic psychologist, ensuring that the psychologist will maintain the integrity of practice and high standard of professionalism?
c) What steps are needed to ensure that best practices in addressing cultural competency are considered when providing services to clients of varying cultures and backgrounds?