Ethical issues does factor into the work that is performed by a forensic scientist when they’re working on a case. It is important as forensic investigators to understand and follow all ethical guide lines that are set forth by the State or Government department they work for. Another area is enforcement of these polices and what happens when one of the policies are broken. If a policy is not upheld there could be major consequences for both the forensic investigators, victims and the accused. The reason I choose this subject is that I am pursuing a career in the forensic feild and I believe that it is very important to have and to follow all policies around ethical issues. Ethical issues plays a very important role within administration. Management wants there employees to be ethical at all times and any good employee wants to make ethical decisions.
History of Ethics in Forensic Science
In this section, I will provide a brief definition of ethics, also I will include the history of ethics in forensic science. In the history of ethics in forensic science I will include what happened before there where ethical guidelines and why ethics are important within forensic science.
Ethics has been defined as doing what is right or morally correct. The word ethics stems from the Greek word ethos meaning spirit or character. According to Kenneth Peaks in his book Justice Administration there are two types of ethical issues, the first is the absolute ethics defined as right or wrong there is no gray area when someone does something morally wrong inside of this area they know that it is wrong. The second is relative ethics, there is a gray area here and cannot be defined as right and wrong. Someone might believe that something is right but another may disagree, another example would be someone may do something that is morally wrong but believes that it is for the best.
Early Ethical Issues
In the beginning ethical standards and policies where not put into as high of regard as they are now. Cases were thrown in favor of one party or the other. Techniques and the evidence may have changed but the one consistency has always been the ethical standards set forth by administration. Philosophers study ethics in many different areas, some study the outcomes when moral ethics are broken, some philosophers study the right and wrong side of ethics, and some study what is called applied ethics which pertains to a specific area of study such as science or psychology.
The Importance of Ethics in Forensics
J.C Downs and Anjali Ranadive Swienton (2014) sums up the importance of ethics by stating that “ethics should serve as a cornerstone for the culture of any given agency” (p. 27). Forensic scientist have often faced the dilemma of telling the truth as to what the evidence or lack of evidence showed versa “solving” a case just to finish and move on to the next one. The importance of having ethic procedures and guidelines in...