Into the Future

The original aim of EFPA (or EFPPA as it was then) to develop common ethical codes for professional psychologists across Europe has had a good deal of success. The Meta-code has stood the test of time, as evidenced by the relatively few amendments needed to produce the second edition in 2005. The Meta-code has been used to support the development of more specific guidelines and national codes, with a high compliance with the Meta-code. We are now entering a new phase of worldwide developments, for example, Oakland et al. (in press); the Meta-code now contributes to this challenge of universal development of ethical codes. The second challenge concerns the development of ethical practice as societies change. I have shown that the EFPA initiative produced a (perhaps surprisingly) resilient Meta-code. But there is no room for complacency. Developments in psychology and in society in general across the world are producing new challenges. These include arguably overenthusiastic ethical scrutiny of research, new practices within psychology, and governments' promotion of laws and expectations in support of what is referred to by the generic, ill-defined concept of "national security" (Lindsay, 2008a, 2008b, 2009a, 2009b).

Whereas the developments considered here are intended to support ethical practice, there is increasing concern about the perceived bureaucratization of ethical approval procedures for research. Some guidelines are highly detailed, for example, the Economic and Social Research Council (2005) in the UK and the European Commission (2007) across Europe (Pauwels, 2007). In addition, procedures can be drawn out and so cause long delays. This is not a matter specifically for psychologists, but represents a "tightening up" of practice. The need to address research ethics is evident from recent studies that indicate abuses in recent years (Koocher & Keith-Spiegel, 2010; Martinson, Anderson, & de Vries, 2005). However, in some cases ethical approval procedures, far from supporting good practice, are inhibitory and arguably unethical as a result (see also Dingwall, 2008).



Psychology continues to develop as a science and consequently applied professional practice must adapt. New practices require an ethical examination (Koocher, 2007) including practicing psychology at a distance (telepsychology: see also Rummell & Joyce, 2010) and the increasingly complex identification of the client, including those who are "invisible" third parties (Koocher. 2009).

The issue of "national security," however, presents an external challenge and has led to substantial debate and conflict, especially in the US. The suitability of the 2002 version of the code was questioned, stimulated by the revelations of interrogation techniques of alleged terrorists in locations such as Guantanamo Bay, in which psychologists working for the military' were implicated, especially when the legal status of the detention is open to debate (Kalbeitzer, 2009). The Presidential Task Force on Psychological Ethics and National Security (PENS) 2005 report addressed these issues (http://www.apa.org/'pubs/joumals/release&/ PENSTaskForceReportFinal.pdf) and contributed to further debate - see the update from the chair, Moorehead-Slaughter (2006). The relationship between ethics and the law, and in particular the absence of a phrase "in keeping with basic principles of human rights" from the appropriate standard within the 2002 version of the code, was noted as a particular concern by the 2008 and 2009 chairs of the Ethics Committee (http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/message-chairs.aspx). The debate leading up to the 2010 amendments to the code addressed these issues (see hrrp://wvvw.apa.org/ethics/code/standard-102.aspx). Although the focus to date has been on the , the issues are relevant to psychological practice universally: the interaction of ethics, the law, and human rights.

: 2015-09-07; : 133.

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