Ethical decision making in social work

While the curriculum prepares students for entry level practice, a great deal of incidental learning takes place as students gain experience with actual clients. This holds particularly true as it relates to negotiating the ethical aspects of social work practice.

Ethical decision making in social work

Hale Chair in Applied Ethics

Social Work case examples from various health care settings illustrate the process and influences, giving particular attention to end of life issues.

Social Work practice challenges, guidelines and suggestions are outlined in the article. Introduction Helping patients and families come to terms with bad news is an essential role of the social worker on a medical or palliative care team. Once the doctor has given the patient a diagnosis and prognosis, they are often referred to the social worker for supportive counselling, resource finding and to review with the patient and family what the illness will mean and what decisions will now have to be faced.

In the hours, weeks or months that follow a diagnosis of terminal illness or critical injury, a key role of the social worker is to help the patient and family try to maintain control over quality of life throughout the dying process.

Medical teams develop their own micro-cultures and sometimes sacrifice compassion for efficiency in their interactions with patients and families. Despite the emotional demands of work in health care, the social worker must not slip into automated patterns of interaction with patients and families, but ought always to rely on professional values and guidelines to clarify how we help families to negotiate the path of making difficult decisions in stressful situations.

The following model seeks to enhance our professional understanding of a standard of practice for social workers in our interventions with critically ill and dying patients. The authors have drawn from their professional experience to provide case examples to ground the framework in day-to-day practice.

These case examples have been altered to protect the identity of patients and families. The principles of this framework see Figure 1 may be familiar and routine to most social workers.

Nevertheless it is difficult to remember all of our professional theories and values during life and death crises. It is understandable that a social worker may hesitate to clarify the bad news even when we suspect that the patient or family did not understand the implications of the medical diagnosis given to them by the physician.

 · Understanding ethical decision-making in the context of “end of life” and other health care situations is examined using a model, which describes the process of decision-making and the influences of resources, knowledge, values, responsibility and the Ethical Decision-Making in Social Work Wade Robison and Linda Reeser. Table of Contents. Preface. 1. Cases and theories 2. How to use this book 3. Structure of the book 4. Acknowledgements. Chapter 1 - Ethics in Social Work: Tracking Harms. Introduction 1. Difficult ethical cases 2. The method of tracking harms: working through a  · An ethical decision-making framework is the place to start. A review of the literature reveals a number of studies that demonstrate improvements in the quality of the decision-making process, teamwork, awareness of the ethical dimensions of

How do we balance the need to be truthful with the importance of maintaining hope in the face of terminal illness? Making a right decision is not always possible.

In some cases we may never really know if the decision was indeed the best way to proceed. With the advance of technology, physicians themselves are asking whether their code of ethics can apply in all situations. Documents from a seminal international conference of physicians and ethicists in Appleton, Wisconsin, provide an excellent review of the issues of euthanasia and the use of life preserving technology when the medical team believes treatment is futile Stanley et al, The laws attempt to account for advances in technology, which complicates treatment decisions for patients and their families, physicians, and medical teams.

Ethical decison making in the news

Figure 1 outlines the model of decision-making, which the authors have developed to help social workers understand the steps we typically take in making difficult decisions. In the health care setting, the quality of life, the wellbeing of the caregivers, and issues of pain and suffering demand that we as social workers help teams and families make decisions that are not always clear cut.

The client is the patient who has an idea of interventions they wish for themselves.

 · Social work students become familiar with the Code of Ethics, learn one of the various models on ethical decision making (Congress, ; Dolgoff, Loewenberg, & Harrington, ; Reamer, ) and, at some point in their education, are typically required to write a paper on an ethical  ·  Ethical decision-making in social work 43 Ethical decision-making in health care settings 48 Summary 51 The meaning of ethics and ethical dilemmas in hospital social work practice in Greece Social work in Greek public hospitals The SAGE Handbook of Social Work is the world's first generic major reference work to provide an authoritative guide to the theory, method, and values of

The client is also the caregiver s who will need to live with the consequences of decisions to prolong life or ease the passage of their family member.

Having acknowledged that there are multiple pressures on social workers, it is important to identify that there is a decision to be made before we take the first step see figure 1. Sometimes medical interventions will be undertaken without thoughtful input for the consequences of these treatments.

Decision-making is a process and the social worker is advised to keep clear chart records of this process.

Ethical Decision Making: The Person in the Process | Social Work | Oxford Academic

· Social workers frequently encounter ethical dilemmas in their daily practice. This paper examines the utility of hierarchies of ethical principles as tools for ethical decision making. Because of limited research on this topic, the degree of agreement on ordering of ethical principles is unknown  · An ethical decision-making framework is the place to start.

A review of the literature reveals a number of studies that demonstrate improvements in the quality of the decision-making process, teamwork, awareness of the ethical dimensions of  · This case example is presented to stimulate interest in the subject of ethical decision making and is designed to encourage students and new social workers to discuss and debate ethical dilemmas with peers and  · THE PRECEDING chapters have examined the nature of social work values, the process of ethical decision making, and various ethical dilemmas in social work Apr 07,  · Finally, the onus is on social workers to be reflective about themselves and how ‘self’ influences practice and decision making.

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Reference List. Loewenberg, F. and Dolgoff, R.

Ethical decision making in social work

() ‘Ethical Choices in the Helping Professions’ in Loewenberg, F. and Dolgoff, R. Ethical Decisions for Social Work Practice, 5 th ed., Peacock Publishers, . · Abstract. In teaching students about ethical decision making in social work, it is essential that the students are able to recognise the moral implications of their work and develop a deep understanding about ethical issues and their personal responsibility for making ethical

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