1. Choose ONE ethical dilemma
a. Ethical Dilemma A: E-mail from Europe and Suicidal Thoughts
A university student used an electronic mail discussion group to inquire about a drug that could be used for a painless suicide. A professor in Europe who read this request communicated his concern to the sender’s university, which forwarded this message to the university’s counseling department. The counselor assigned to this case obtained more information before deciding what to do. She contacted the director of the computer center, who broke into the student’s account where additional messages on suicide were discovered. At this point, the counselor decided to contact the student’s parents.
b. Ethical Dilemma B: A Manager’s Dilemma
Alan is social worker employed as a manager of a team of social workers in a major hospital. Paperwork on a recent admission shows that a traumatic mugging caused the client to require an adjustment in the medication she is prescribed to control a diagnosed Bipolar Disorder. Alan is struck by the patient’s unusual last name and upon checking her employment information realizes she is one of his daughter’s grade school teachers.
Alan’s daughter seems very happy in her school and he cannot violate client confidentiality by informing the school of a teacher’s mental illness; yet, he is uncomfortable with a potentially unstable person in a position of influence and supervision over his eight year-old daughter.
2. Respond to your chosen ethical dilemma by writing a recommendation that will be shared with an interdisciplinary ethical review board for its consideration to address the dilemma. You should prepare this as a formal written recommendation that gives an overview of the issue and outlines the steps you would take evidenced by critical thinking. Your written recommendation should clearly identify:
a. Social work value(s) and related principle(s) from the NASW Code of Ethics with a full explanation of how the value(s) and principle(s) relate to the ethical dilemma;
b. The related ethical principle;
c. The related ethical theory;
d. Element(s) and standard(s) of critical thinking with corresponding essential question(s) relative to your perception of the ethical dilemma; and
e. Your proposed action.