Research Assignments

Ethical Decision Making Paper Instructions

The purpose of this assignment is to develop the ability to apply professional values, codes of ethics, and a decisionmaking model to the process of ethical decision making.

Your paper must be in current APA format including title page, abstract and reference page. The body of your paper must be 6–9 pages and include at least 6 references. Your paper must be well-thought-out and demonstrate critical thinking.

  1. Begin by reading through the entire document, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making.” By copying and pasting the link into your browser (https://www.counseling.org/docs/ethics/practitioners_guide.pdf?sfvrsn=2). This is necessary BEFORE you begin to apply the decision making steps to an ethical scenario.
  2. After reading the ethical decision making document above, choose one of the ethical dilemmas from the document entitled, “Ethical Decision Making Paper Scenarios,” found under the assignment instructions in Blackboard. Read and analyze the chosen scenario.
  3. Approach the scenario as if it has already happened and now you must address the problems the scenario has created. In other words, as in much of real life and practice, you must now do damage control.
  4. To apply the steps of the ethical decision making model to your chosen scenario, divide the body of your paper—formatted in current APA style—into the steps outlined in the “A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making” document, and outlined below, making sure to address all questions for each section:

 

  • Identify the problem(s). In this section make sure to:
    • Outline the facts, separating out innuendos, assumptions, hypotheses, or suspicions.
    • Correctly and clearly identify the problem(s) by answering the questions, “Is this problem an ethical, legal, professional, or clinical problem? Is it a combination of more than one of these?”

Identify the problem as related to self, client, institution, or agency. In other words, answer the questions, “Is the issue related to me and what I am or am not doing? Is it related to a client and/or the client’s significant others and what they are or are not doing? Is it related to the institution or agency and their policies and procedures?”

  • Apply the ACA Code of Ethics. In this section make sure to:

Identify all applicable ACA Code of Ethics. Which codes apply, or can address, the problem(s) presented in the scenario? Make sure to cite the code numbers.

 

  • Determine the nature/dimensions of the dilemma. In this section make sure to:
    • Correctly identify the moral principles of the profession that apply. In other words, which of the professional values apply to this problem? Autonomy, beneficence, justice, nonmaleficence, fidelity, and/or veracity? Why?

 

  • Identify the relevant professional literature that applies to the dilemma. What does the professional literature say that might help you solve the problem? Go to the LUO databases and find articles or textbooks that address the problem. For example, what do experts say about the confidentiality, technology and counseling, etc.?
  • Identify persons that would be consulted. Who could you consult that might help you come up with ideas to address the problem?
  • Identify state or national professional associations that would be consulted. What professional associations or state boards might be able to give advice?

 

  • Potential courses of action. In this section make sure to:
    • List all potential courses of action. Brainstorm as many possible courses of action as possible.

 

  • Consider consequences/Determine course of action. In this section make sure to:
    • Describe the potential consequences and implications for each course of action.
    • Identify the best course of action and explain why. In other words, considering the information you have gathered and the priorities you have set, evaluate each option and assess the potential consequences for all the parties involved. Ponder the implications of each course of action for the client, for others who will be effected, and for yourself as a counselor. Eliminate the options that clearly do not give the desired results or cause even more problematic consequences. Review the remaining options to determine which option or combination of options best fits the situation and addresses the priorities you have identified.

 

  • Evaluate the selected course of action. In this section make sure to:
    • Review the selected course of action to see if it presents any new ethical problems.
    • Apply the tests of justice, publicity, and universality.

 

  • Implement the course of action. In this section make sure to:
    • Describe what steps will be taken to implement the course of action. In other words, step-by-step, what are you now going to do to address the problem and do damage control?

Ethical Decision Making Paper Scenarios

Scenario 1

Jane is a hardworking, licensed professional counselor who has a very successful private practice. Jane has not had a vacation in over a year. She is feeling the stress and burnout and knows she needs to do something quickly for her own mental health. Thus, she decides to go on vacation for a week. She quickly makes the arrangements and then emails all of her clients with whom she has appointments during the week of vacation, informing them of the need to cancel. She fails to let her other clients know she will be gone; since none of her clients are in crisis, she decides to not worry about getting someone to cover her clients while she is gone.

 

Scenario 2

John is a counseling intern working for an outpatient facility that specializes in alcohol and drug addiction recovery. John has been interning with the facility for 9 months. He is particularly involved in co-leading many of the groups at the facility and has gotten to know many of the clients. Overall, John really likes most of the clients at the center. One evening, while checking his email, he notices a friend request for his personal Facebook account. John recognizes the email as originating from Ben, one of the clients at the center. John has enjoyed his interactions with Ben, so he grants Ben his request. A few days later, Jeanne, another client at the center, emails John with her request to befriend John on Facebook. John is not as fond of Jeanne because she is often argumentative in group. John decides to deny the request, explaining to Jeanne he does not befriend women.

 

Scenario 3

Amy is a professional counselor in a private practice. She is currently in graduate school working on her Ph.D. in Counseling, so Amy must be careful with her money as most of it is paying for her education. Amy attends a seminar, given by Live Healthy Industries, on making extra money by selling their line of multivitamins and homeopathic remedies. Seeing the opportunity to make some extra money and really believing in the benefit of vitamins and homeopathic remedies, Amy signs up to become a representative of the company. As part of her marketing strategy, Amy places advertisements for the products in the waiting room of her office and on her professional web page. Several of her clients begin inquiring about the products they are seeing in the advertisements on Amy’s webpage and in her waiting room. Soon, Amy has several of her client’s buying the products, and Amy’s money problems resolve.

 

Scenario 4

Robin is admitted to an intensive residential facility for drug addiction. During the first week, she is given a number of assessments including the Beck Depression Inventory, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, and the Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory. Robin wonders why she is getting the inventories and how they will be used. Finally, six weeks into her admission at the facility, Robin asks her therapist for the results. She is told that clients are not allowed to see the results or any other part of their records.

 

 

 

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