Members to Vote on Ethics Committee Composition

The 2021 MPS election will include a request to change the composition of the MPS Ethics Committee as outlined in the Constitution, based on a recommendation from the committee that was approved by Council in January.  In June 2020, Council approved a proposal by the Community Psychiatry and Diversity Coalition that committed the MPS to questioning our practices, listening to people of color in our community and designing a plan with specific actions that create meaningful solutions for change. In September, Council approved Coalition recommendations that all MPS committees and Council conduct self-assessments and set goals to be combined into a full-fledged plan for MPS to move forward with its work on tearing down structural racism and promoting anti-racism and inclusion.

In November, the Ethics Committee assessed its practices and discussed how it can contribute to the goals set by Council. The committee would like to include more minority members but is constitutionally limited to eight members, three of whom must be past MPS presidents.  As a result, the committee voted to ask members to approve a change to the MPS Constitution aimed at increasing diversity by increasing the size of the committee to ten members and reducing the number of required past presidents to two.  This change recognizes the steep learning curve for deciding on ethics complaints and allows the mix of forensic/adult/ child/academic/public/private practitioners currently serving on the committee to remain intact.  The specific changes are as follows:


Section 5. ETHICS COMMITTEE: The Ethics Committee shall consist of three two former Presidents plus as many as five eight but not less than three six other members appointed annually by the President. If necessary, additional members may be designated by the President to serve on the Ethics Committee for cases when regular members of the Committee are unable to do so. In its work, the Committee shall function in accord with American Psychiatric Association Procedures for Handling Complaints of Unethical Conduct.

Ballots will be emailed to voting members on March 1.  Please contact Heidi Bunes with questions.