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Are illiberal acts unethical? APA’s Ethics Code and the protection of free speech.
American Psychologist  (IF16.358),  Pub Date : 2022-03-21, DOI:

The American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (American Psychological Association, 2017b; hereinafter referred to as the Ethics Code) does not contain an enforceable standard regarding psychologists’ role in either honoring or protecting the free speech of others, or ensuring that their own free speech is protected, including an important corollary of free speech, the protection of academic freedom. Illiberal acts illegitimately restrict civil liberties. We argue that the ethics of illiberal acts have not been adequately scrutinized in the Ethics Code. Psychologists require free speech to properly enact their roles as scientists as well as professionals who wish to advocate for their clients and students to enhance social justice. This article delineates criteria for what ought to be included in the Ethics Code, argues that ethical issues regarding the protection of free speech rights meet these criteria, and proposes language to be added to the Ethics Code.