Discussion 1: Managing Ethical Dilemmas
Ethical dilemmas are situations that involve conflicting moral or ethical choices. To truly meet the criteria for an ethical dilemma, there must first be a choice. If applicable laws say that client records must be kept in a password-protected location on your computer, there is no choice or moral decision involved. The action needed is very clear cut. Secondly, in order to be an ethical dilemma, the two available options must be in direct conflict or contradiction to one another, such that choosing one would result in the violation of the other. Human and social service professionals confront ethical dilemmas regularly. In these situations, professionals must think critically and consult with colleagues and ethical codes in order to minimize ethical impact.
In the media entitled Is It an Ethical Dilemma? in this week’s Learning Resources, there are two human and social services professionals discussing professional issues they are each having. Listen to each and consider which one represents an ethical dilemma. After you are finished, return to this page to begin your Discussion.
For this Discussion, you analyze an ethical dilemma that you have experienced in your own professional workplace or community work (not your personal or family life). You also use information from this week’s Learning Resources and from your own research to determine whether the ethical dilemma should have been handled differently.
Post a description of an ethical dilemma that you experienced in your professional workplace or in your community work (not your personal or family life). Explain how you managed the situation and why. Next, using information from the article you found in your research, explain whether you would now manage the situation you experienced differently and why.
Is It an Ethical Dilemma
Scenario 1 Program Transcript
STACEY: I know I’m required as part of my internship to practice under the supervision of an experienced professional. I’m supposed to be consulting with my supervisor on cases. However, I’m also required to protect my clients’ confidentiality. My client just shared with me some confidential information and asked me not to tell anyone. I said I wouldn’t, but now I’m wondering if I should share it with my supervisor.
NARRATOR: Does Stacey have an obligation to keep the information confidential, or does she have an obligation to share it with her supervisor?
Scenario 2 Program Transcript
SEAN: I had some difficulty providing support services to an Ecuadorian immigrant. I’m the only one that is bilingual, so I was assigned the client. However, since I’m only fluent in English and Spanish, it’s been difficult, since my client’s first language is Quechua. My client does speak some very limited Spanish, but not enough for us to have a clear dialogue. It’s my duty to obtain informed consent in a language understandable to my client, but I cannot locate a qualified Quechua translator. I’ve been struggling with whether I should decline services or provide them, since I know if I decline, the client won’t likely be able to seek help elsewhere.
NARRATOR: Should Sean decline to provide services to the client?
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