Here is the ethical dilemma you face
For this week you will take the role of a human services professional working at a nursing home. Here is the ethical dilemma you face: THE PAGE OF THE BOOK ATTACHED
I like my patients, and take good care of them. So many are unable to take care of themselves and rely on the staff to take care of their day-to-day and moment-to-moment needs. Some don’t even know what to ask for. I take my job seriously and try to provide the best care I can in a compassionate manner.
I have a good friend, Gail, who desperately needed a job. She is a single parent with three young children. I recommended her for a job in this nursing home where I work. She was hired. To my surprise, I find that she does not take the job as seriously as I do. She cuts corners and does not feel responsible for the well being of her patients. When I tried to talk to her about it, she thought I was being too picky. So far, she has not been caught, and no one has been hurt.
Use the Ethical Decision Making process described on pages 96-98 of your text and list your responses here at this assignment for Steps 1 – 5 of the 6 steps. (You will not be able to complete Step 6 Evaluation).
For Step 3 Consult with Colleagues–go to the Discussion Board for this Assignment and check in with your fellow students for their opinions on how to handle this problem. Your classmates will be taking the role of colleagues working at the nursing home. Post your Discussion question with what you plan to do in this situation and ask for feedback from your classmates.
Chapter 4 ETHICAL STANDARDS OF HUMAN SERVICE PROFESSIONALS As you read
earlier in the chapter, one challenge professional organizations face is keeping ethical codes
current. In 2015, the National Organization for Human Ser- vices revised its Ethical Standards.
One of the most important commitments human service professionals make is adherence to the
ethical code of the professional organization to which they belong. This means that professionals
read carefully the code, frequently review it, and reflect on its meanings. As you read the Ethical
Standards at the end of the chapter, you will note that they address the topics discussed at the
beginning of this chapter. The preamble introduces the goals or aims of the profession. The
ethical standards then divide professional responsibilities into seven areas: to clients, to the
public and society, to colleagues, to employers, to the profession, to self, and to students. These
ethical standards and those in other helping professions provide guide- lines only. They do not
provide answers to all ethical dilemmas. The ethical decision making that follows the ethical
standards is helpful when these situations arise.
ETHICAL DECISION MAKING LO 4-6 Clearly, no code of ethics or statement of standards
can provide a course of action for every situation that might arise in the practice of human
services. What does the human service professional do in situations for which there are no
guidelines or there are guidelines that conflict? In such ethical dilemmas, the conflict is in determining the right thing to do regarding obligations to two or more constituencies: situations when
a choice exists between contradictory directives or standards or an undesirable outcome for one
or more persons results no matter the alternative (Dolgoff, Harrington, & Loewenberg, 2011).
The areas of confidentiality, role con- flict, and counselor competence frequently present
complex ethical dilemmas that are often not easy to resolve. Rather than attempt to provide
possible solutions to every situation that comes to mind, this subsection will introduce ethical
decision making for your consideration that can be applied to many dilemmas to determine a
course of action. Determining the best action under the circumstances and with the individuals
involved is at the crux of ethical decision making. To accomplish this, the helper must assume an
attitude of moral responsibility. This should be distinguished from the kind of responsibility
discussed earlier in this chapter. That responsibility is imposed by some higher authority, such as
the profession or the government; it may be interpreted as one’s duty. Moral responsibleness, on
the other hand, comes from within the individual, who assumes that there is a course of action
that is morally right. A commitment to rational thinking and knowledge of moral principles are
necessary components of moral reasoning. This requires that human service pro- fessionals
spend time reflecting on their own values and beliefs in order to increase their awareness of their
This is where ethical decision making begins. A second point of consideration in the decisionmaking process is client involve- ment, a basic tenet of both human services and ethics. Not only
are the helper’s values and beliefs at play in ethical decision making but also the client’s.
Awareness of the beliefs, values, culture, and religion of both the client and the helper will
facilitate client involvement as well as increase the rational resolution of an ethical dilemma. A
number of ethical decision-making models exist. Early models focused on a sequential number
of steps, sometimes 5 or 7 or 9. Diagrams or lists of steps seem to portray a linear process that
has been criticized for lack of a multicultural focus and a feminist perspective. In addition, there
is little client interaction. Newer models do reflect a multicultural perspective that requires
helpers to become more aware of how they see the world and how their views might influ- ence
their ethical decision making. One model advocates for culturally sensitive eth- ical decision
making based on an ethic of care and consideration of cultural power dynamics (Remley &
Herlihy, 2016). Part of this model is the assessment of accul- turation and racial identity of both
the client and the helper. Other newer models include a feminist perspective that sees ethical
decision making in yet another way. This view takes into account the feelings, intuition, and
context of the client, the helper, and the ethical dilemma, believing that traditional decision
making follows the information processing style of white males—for exam- ple, linear, logical,
and paternalistic (Remley & Herlihy, 2016). Recent trends in ethical decision-making models are
the development of specialized models that focus on specific populations or issues. For example,
ethical decision mak- ing with a college student over age 18 might be very different from that of
a school age child who is a minor and subject to school regulations and policies and parental
control. Whichever model you choose to follow when ethical dilemmas arise, rarely will the
process be linear. In reality, many aspects of ethical decision making will occur simultaneously.
All should involve the client.
1) Identify the problem. This may involve gathering additional information; con- sidering the
legal, ethical, moral, and professional perspectives; and determin- ing the issues involved.
d. If it is determined that the dilemma is a legal issue, then you will want to consult an attorney,
state and local laws, and policies and procedures.
2. Review ethical standards. During this process, you will think about your own values and
beliefs and how they are influencing your perspective.
3. Consult with colleagues or experts. Legal counsel, coworkers, and supervisors are some of the
resources who can be tapped to obtain different perspectives about the dilemma, improving
objectivity. In addition, consultation is also evidence that a helper has acted in good faith if there
is a legal challenge to the decision. (WRITE A QUESTION FOR ME TO ASK
4. Identify and explore options. Both brainstorming and consulting are techniques that increase
the numbers and types of options worth consideration. An import- ant part of this step is thinking
about the desired outcomes and the advantages and disadvantages or risks and benefits of each
option. The client is a valuable partner in this process and can help clarify cultural and contextual
5. Choose a desired course of action and act. Then evaluate both the process and the choice.
6. Evaluation is a critical step in ethical decision making and one that is often neglected.
Feelings of relief about a resolution may make the helper think this activity is unnecessary. There
are some questions to ask yourself at the conclu- sion of the process. • Does the decision feel
right to both you and the client? • Do you have any feelings of doubt or discomfort? • If you
could go through the process again, would you arrive at the same conclusion? • How would you
feel about your decision appearing in the newspaper? We have discussed dilemmas that involve
competency and responsibility, confi- dentiality, and clients’ rights and have presented brief
cases to illustrate problems that might arise in actual practice. As you consider how you would
respond to each case, review the steps in the previous paragraph and follow them as you
deliberate. The fol- lowing questions may be useful as you consider how you would respond to
1. State the dilemma clearly. There may be more than one; if so, please think of all that you can.
Is it an ethical or legal dilemma? 2. How do culture, family, values and beliefs, and religion
influence the dilemma? 3. What options are available to you and the client? 4. What are the
disadvantages and advantages of each option, taking into consideration the context and the
culture? 5. What action do you choose? 6. What factor most influenced your decision? 7. How
do you feel about your decision?