Egyptian Journal of Forensic Sciences (Jul 2017)
Ethical issues across different fields of forensic science
Abstract Many commentators have acknowledged the fact that the usual courtroom maxim to “tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” is not so easy to apply in practicality. In any given situation, what does the whole truth include? In case, the whole truth includes all the possible alternatives for a given situation, what should a forensic expert witness do when an important question is not asked by the prosecutor? Does the obligation to tell the whole truth mean that all possible, all probable, all reasonably probable, all highly probable, or only the most probable alternatives must be given in response to a question? In this paper, an attempt has been made to review the various ethical issues in different fields of forensic science, forensic psychology, and forensic DNA databases. Some of the ethical issues are common to all fields whereas some are field specific. These ethical issues are mandatory for ensuring high levels of reliability and credibility of forensic scientists.