Independent and court-ordered forensic neuropsychological examinations: official statement of the National Academy of Neuropsychology

Arch Clin Neuropsychol. 2005 Dec;20(8):997-1007. doi: 10.1016/j.acn.2005.06.003. Epub 2005 Aug 1.


Independent forensic neuropsychological examinations are performed by neuropsychologists who are hired as independent contractors by third parties to make determinations regarding neuropsychological functioning. The responsibilities of neuropsychologists when performing independent or court-ordered forensic examinations differ from those of clinical examinations. Because neuropsychological training typically occurs in clinical contexts, the transition to forensic contexts may result in uncertainty about how to negotiate the unique responsibilities of the forensic examiner role. Neuropsychologists are responsible for maintaining the highest standards of professional practice when performing independent and court-ordered forensic examinations. To reach and maintain the highest standards of practice, neuropsychologists must understand the unique relationships with retaining parties and examinees and strive to maintain true independence and objectivity. Although a true neuropsychologist-patient relationship is not considered to exist within the context of a forensic neuropsychological evaluation, neuropsychologists have ethical responsibilities to both the retaining party and the examinee.

Publication types

  • Practice Guideline

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality
  • Expert Testimony / ethics
  • Expert Testimony / standards*
  • Forensic Medicine / ethics
  • Forensic Medicine / standards*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Neurologic Examination / ethics
  • Neurologic Examination / standards*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Neuropsychology / ethics
  • Neuropsychology / standards*
  • Physician's Role*
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Truth Disclosure