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    Volume 29, Issue 4 (October 1984)

    Ethical and Moral Dilemmas Confronting Forensic Scientists

    (Received 15 February 1984; accepted 14 March 1984)


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    Ethical and moral dilemmas that create “no win” situations must be changed into problems that permit “all win” solutions. Professional ethics are grounded on personal morals, hence an individual's concepts of faith, health, and justice are significant. Word professions like journalism and forensic sciences invite comparative analysis of their ethical and moral dilemmas. Examples of current dilemmas in the forensic sciences involve criminalistics, questioned documents, toxicology, pathology, psychiatry, and jurisprudence. All such specialities must elevate their ethics by professionally recognizing themselves, not as chemists, physicians, criminalists, and so forth but as forensic scientists—expert witnesses in the legislative, executive, and judicial processes of law and justice. Education in moral and ethical issues from the junior high school through professional schools and in the professional practice offers promise for resolving ethical and moral dilemmas by transforming the unsolvable dilemmas into soluble problems. An exemplary beginning in public education for professional ethics is being manifested in the area of computer ethics. Practical adjustments in ethics and morals can be achieved through “experience developed by reason and reason tested by experience.”

    Author Information:

    Schroeder, OC
    Weatherhead professor of law and criminal justice and director, The Law Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

    Stock #: JFS11767J


    DOI: 10.1520/JFS11767J

    Title Ethical and Moral Dilemmas Confronting Forensic Scientists
    Symposium ,
    Committee E30