Case Study Analysis
Ethical Case Study 2: Sally Goes to School Shanda Woody Montreat College Ethical Case Study 2: Sally Goes to School A fundamental aspect of ethics in counseling is the right to informed consent. Informed consent reflects respect for the client as an individual and promotes self-governing during the counseling process (Pope & Melba, 2011). The American Counseling Association Ethical Decision Making Model provides counselors with a blueprint for making ethical decisions while placing an emphasis on values and principles and is appropriate in resolving the ethical dilemma contained in this case study (Miller & Davis, 1996).
ACA Model The ACA Code of Ethics states, “when counselors are faced with ethical dilemmas that are difficult to resolve, they are expected to engage in a carefully considered ethical decision making model” (ACA, 2005). This model directly applies the ACA Code of Ethics while combining Kitcheners (1984) virtue ethics, counselor consultation, and self-determination (Corey, Corey & Callahan, 2011). The model also includes the work of Van Hoose and Paradise (1979), Stadler (986), Haas and Malouf (1989), Forester-Miller and Rubenstein (1992), and Sileo and Kopala (1993).
The ACA model encourages a counseling relationship based on trust and states when counselors are faced with an ethical dilemma they apply careful consideration to the decision making process (Corey, Corey & Callahan, 2011). ACA Decision Making Model Process The ACA model identifies Kitcheners five moral principles as the cornerstone of the decision making process and they include: autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice, and fidelity (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1996). Upon eviewing these ethical principles, the model outlines seven steps in the decision making process including: identify the problem; apply the ACA Code of Ethics, determine the nature of the dilemma, determine a possible course of action, consider potential consequences for all options and determine a course of action, evaluate the course of action, and implement the action (Forester-Miller, & Davis, 1996). The first step in the model is to identify the problem by gathering as much information as possible.
It is important to outline the facts and eliminate any assumptions so that the counselor can determine the ethical dilemma and the course of action needed. In this phase, the model suggest asking questions such as: Is the issue related to me and what I am doing or not doing? Is it related to the client and/or the client’s family? Is the issue an ethical, legal or clinical problem? (Forester-Miller, & Davis, 1996) The next step is to apply the ACA Code of Ethics. If there is a standard or standards that apply, the model recommends following the course of action indicated which should lead to a solution.
It is important that counselors be familiar with the ethical standards and understand the implications (Forester-Miller et al. ,1996). The next step in the model is to determine the nature and dimensions of the dilemma. In this step, the counselor would consider the moral principles and decide which principles apply, then review any professional literature to help reach a decision, consult with colleagues and other professionals, and seek out assistance from state and national associations.
At this point in the decision making process, the counselor may want to refer to Kitcheners (1984) five moral principles to ensure autonomy, justice, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and fidelity are being used as a guide in the decision making process. (Forester-Miller et al. , 1996) Next, counselors begin to brainstorm and create possible solutions for the ethical dilemma. After this stage, counselors will consider the information gathered during previous stages, assess each option carefully and consider the implications for the course of action. The ACA model stresses the mportance of eliminating options that will not result in the optimum outcome and to avoid making decisions that will be more problematic that the situation at hand. (Forester-Miller et al. , 1996) The final two stages include evaluating and implementing the selected course of action. At this point, it is imperative that the counselors consider any new ethical dilemmas that may have been created by the decision made and if it is determined more harm will come to the client the counselor must go back to the beginning and reevaluate the process to ensure the best possible outcome.
Once it has been determined that this ethical decision made is appropriate, the counselor will implement the plan and follow up with the situation to ensure the course had the anticipated results. Ethical Decision and Implications After reviewing the ACA decision making model, the counselor would choose to discuss the purpose of treatment, the goals, procedures and techniques provided during the therapeutic relationship (Corey & Herlihy, 2006). Any testing or diagnosis needs to be explained as the client has a right to be an active participant.
Implementation of the ACA Code of Ethics A. 2. a Informed Consent which states clients have a right to choose and remain in the therapeutic relationship and counselors have an obligation to inform clients of the ongoing counseling process is imperative(ACA, 2005). At this juncture, the counselor would also want to refer to ACA Code of Ethics E. 3. a which states counselors must explain the nature and purpose of assessments in a way that the clients can understand (ACA, 2005).
Reflections on the Decision Making Process Upholding the ethical standards of the counseling professional can be a difficult task due to a myriad of reasons. An ethical dilemma can prove to be overwhelming and complex but if the counselor utilizes an effective decision making model, refers to the ACA Code of Ethics as a guide, and upholds professional ethics by maintaining the best interest of the client the result should be positive and a learning experience for all involved.
References Forester-Miller, H. & Davis, T. (1996). A practitioner’s guide to ethical decision making. American Counseling Association (1996) Corey, G. , Corey, M. , & Callahan, P. , (2011). Issues and ethics in the helping professions. 8TH edition. American Counseling Association (2005). Code of Ethics, Alexandria, VA: Author. Corey, G. , & Herlihy, B. , (2006). ACA ethical standards casebook. 6th edition Pope .