Ethical Practice with Special Populations

Introduction
This unit focuses on the legal and ethical issues that emerge when working with special populations. Counselors who provide services to children and adolescents need to understand the rights of the minor clients they are working with as well as the legal rights of the parents or guardians. State laws regarding parental consent for treatment and informed consent for minors need careful consideration, as do the legal and ethical standards addressing confidentiality and privileged communication with minors.
Limits to confidentiality and privacy for persons in counseling who are vulnerable and need additional protection are also addressed in the state laws and ethical standards, and this topic is a focus of Chapter 9 in the course text. Counselors have legal and ethical responsibilities to protect children, dependent adults, and elders who may be victims of abuse or neglect. Counselors also need to understand the situations in which they may need to break confidentiality when the person they are working with is a danger to self or others.
Chapter 10 of the course text reviews the ethical and legal issues that may arise when counseling couples, families, and groups.

Objectives
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Identify the counselor’s role in balancing clients’ rights, ethical and legal standards, and personal values.
2. Identify legal and ethical issues specific to clients from diverse populations.

Learning Activities Studies
Readings
Use your Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling text to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 9, “Counseling Children and Vulnerable Adults,” pages 224–249.
• Read Chapter 10, “Counseling Families and Groups,” pages 250–271.
Use the Capella University Library to read at least two of the following articles:
• Schwiebert, Myers, and Dice’s 2000 article, “Ethical Guidelines for Counselors Working with Older Adults,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 78, issue 2, pages 123–129.
• Hermann and Herlihy’s 2006 article, “Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 84, issue 4, pages 414–418.
• Lawrence and Kirpius’s 2000 article, “Legal and Ethical Issues Involved When Counseling Minors in Nonschool Settings,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 78, issue 2, pages 130–136.
• Rappleyea et al.’s 2009 article, “Termination: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Marriage and Family Therapists,” from American Journal of Family Therapy, volume 37, issue 1, pages 12–27.
• Helbok’s 2003 article, “The Practice of Psychology in Rural Communities: Potential Ethical Dilemmas,” from Ethics & Behavior, volume 13, issue 4, pages 367–384.
• Scott’s 2000 article, “Ethical Issues in Addiction Counseling,” from Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, volume 43, issue 4, pages 209–214.
• Werth and Crow’s 2009 article, “End-of-Life Care: An Overview for Professional Counselors,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 87, issue 2, pages 194–202.

Multimedia
Case Vignettes – Special Populations.
Launch Presentation to view Case Vignettes – Special Populations. You will use this media piece to complete the second discussion in this assignment.
Addictions Counseling
You have been working with Hugo, a 52-year-old man, in individual and group counseling sessions during the past three years to address his issues of alcohol and gambling addiction. Although Hugo has relapsed several times, he has been sober for six months. Last year he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and his condition has deteriorated more quickly than anyone anticipated. He is in considerable pain and is growing increasingly unable to take care of himself. Although his 77-year-old mother lives nearby and is able to visit from time to time, he has no other relatives to care for him. He’s become close to some of the members from his counseling groups, but he’s reluctant to take up too much of their time. During the last session, Hugo disclosed that when things get really bad he will end his own life. He’s been in touch with two people who have assisted other patients to hasten the end of their lives, and they have agreed to help him. He does not want you t o tell his mother or to tell anyone in the group counseling meetings that he’s made this decision. He’s asked if he can continue to see you in individual sessions for as long as he can, as you are his main support and the only person he can really talk to.

Discussion 1 – 1 page needed with 2 references.
Clients’ Rights and Ethical Behavior
Counselors who work with children and adolescents often need to balance their clients’ or students’ rights, their own views of moral and ethical behavior, and the demands of ethical codes and state laws.
For each vignette below, list the questions and concerns that arise for you as you consider the potential legal and ethical issues, the client’s or student’s rights, and your own personal beliefs and values. Cite specific state laws and ethical codes to support your discussion.
1. A 14-year-old boy describes himself as being gay and discloses he’s been sexually intimate with his 14-year-old friend LeRoy for the past three months. He is worried he may have a sexually transmitted disease. He wants your advice and support but does not want you to tell his parents.
2. A 17-year-old girl reveals she is four months pregnant and is terrified to tell her parents or the father of the child; she believes they will force her to keep the baby. The girl admits she has already contacted a couple she found on the Internet to discuss placing the baby for adoption when it is born.
3. A 16-year-old boy who has an underlying medical disorder that causes chronic pain reveals he has been able to receive “medical marijuana” from a friend’s uncle. He only smokes it occasionally and feels his pain has been significantly relieved.
Support your ideas with specific examples and references to the professional literature.

Discussion 2 – 1 page needed with 2 references.
Rights, Views, Ethics, and State Laws
Choose one of the case vignettes you viewed in the Case Vignettes – Special Populations presentation in this unit’s study, and comment on it for this discussion.
CASE VIGNETTES BELOW:
Addictions Counseling
You have been working with Hugo, a 52-year-old man, in individual and group counseling sessions during the past three years to address his issues of alcohol and gambling addiction. Although Hugo has relapsed several times, he has been sober for six months. Last year he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and his condition has deteriorated more quickly than anyone anticipated. He is in considerable pain and is growing increasingly unable to take care of himself. Although his 77-year-old mother lives nearby and is able to visit from time to time, he has no other relatives to care for him. He’s become close to some of the members from his counseling groups, but he’s reluctant to take up too much of their time. During the last session, Hugo disclosed that when things get really bad he will end his own life. He’s been in touch with two people who have assisted other patients to hasten the end of their lives, and they have agreed to help him. He does not want you t o tell his mother or to tell anyone in the group counseling meetings that he’s made this decision. He’s asked if he can continue to see you in individual sessions for as long as he can, as you are his main support and the only person he can really talk to.
1. What legal and ethical issues are apparent in the case? List each issue and the corresponding state law or ethical standard.
2. What additional information would you want to obtain in this situation, and how would you proceed in order to obtain it?
3. What actions would you consider taking to address this situation?
Support your ideas with specific examples and references to the professional literature.

 

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Ethical Practice with Special Populations

Ethical Practice with Special Populations

ANSWER


Introduction
This unit focuses on the legal and ethical issues that emerge when working with special populations. Counselors who provide services to children and adolescents need to understand the rights of the minor clients they are working with as well as the legal rights of the parents or guardians. State laws regarding parental consent for treatment and informed consent for minors need careful consideration, as do the legal and ethical standards addressing confidentiality and privileged communication with minors.
Limits to confidentiality and privacy for persons in counseling who are vulnerable and need additional protection are also addressed in the state laws and ethical standards, and this topic is a focus of Chapter 9 in the course text. Counselors have legal and ethical responsibilities to protect children, dependent adults, and elders who may be victims of abuse or neglect. Counselors also need to understand the situations in which they may need to break confidentiality when the person they are working with is a danger to self or others.
Chapter 10 of the course text reviews the ethical and legal issues that may arise when counseling couples, families, and groups.

Objectives
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Identify the counselor’s role in balancing clients’ rights, ethical and legal standards, and personal values.
2. Identify legal and ethical issues specific to clients from diverse populations.

Learning Activities Studies
Readings
Use your Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling text to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 9, “Counseling Children and Vulnerable Adults,” pages 224–249.
• Read Chapter 10, “Counseling Families and Groups,” pages 250–271.
Use the Capella University Library to read at least two of the following articles:
• Schwiebert, Myers, and Dice’s 2000 article, “Ethical Guidelines for Counselors Working with Older Adults,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 78, issue 2, pages 123–129.
• Hermann and Herlihy’s 2006 article, “Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 84, issue 4, pages 414–418.
• Lawrence and Kirpius’s 2000 article, “Legal and Ethical Issues Involved When Counseling Minors in Nonschool Settings,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 78, issue 2, pages 130–136.
• Rappleyea et al.’s 2009 article, “Termination: Legal and Ethical Considerations for Marriage and Family Therapists,” from American Journal of Family Therapy, volume 37, issue 1, pages 12–27.
• Helbok’s 2003 article, “The Practice of Psychology in Rural Communities: Potential Ethical Dilemmas,” from Ethics & Behavior, volume 13, issue 4, pages 367–384.
• Scott’s 2000 article, “Ethical Issues in Addiction Counseling,” from Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin, volume 43, issue 4, pages 209–214.
• Werth and Crow’s 2009 article, “End-of-Life Care: An Overview for Professional Counselors,” from Journal of Counseling & Development, volume 87, issue 2, pages 194–202.

Multimedia
Case Vignettes – Special Populations.
Launch Presentation to view Case Vignettes – Special Populations. You will use this media piece to complete the second discussion in this assignment.
Addictions Counseling
You have been working with Hugo, a 52-year-old man, in individual and group counseling sessions during the past three years to address his issues of alcohol and gambling addiction. Although Hugo has relapsed several times, he has been sober for six months. Last year he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and his condition has deteriorated more quickly than anyone anticipated. He is in considerable pain and is growing increasingly unable to take care of himself. Although his 77-year-old mother lives nearby and is able to visit from time to time, he has no other relatives to care for him. He’s become close to some of the members from his counseling groups, but he’s reluctant to take up too much of their time. During the last session, Hugo disclosed that when things get really bad he will end his own life. He’s been in touch with two people who have assisted other patients to hasten the end of their lives, and they have agreed to help him. He does not want you t o tell his mother or to tell anyone in the group counseling meetings that he’s made this decision. He’s asked if he can continue to see you in individual sessions for as long as he can, as you are his main support and the only person he can really talk to.

Ethical Practice with Special Populations

Discussion 1 – 1 page needed with 2 references.
Clients’ Rights and Ethical Behavior
Counselors who work with children and adolescents often need to balance their clients’ or students’ rights, their own views of moral and ethical behavior, and the demands of ethical codes and state laws.
For each vignette below, list the questions and concerns that arise for you as you consider the potential legal and ethical issues, the client’s or student’s rights, and your own personal beliefs and values. Cite specific state laws and ethical codes to support your discussion.
1. A 14-year-old boy describes himself as being gay and discloses he’s been sexually intimate with his 14-year-old friend LeRoy for the past three months. He is worried he may have a sexually transmitted disease. He wants your advice and support but does not want you to tell his parents.
2. A 17-year-old girl reveals she is four months pregnant and is terrified to tell her parents or the father of the child; she believes they will force her to keep the baby. The girl admits she has already contacted a couple she found on the Internet to discuss placing the baby for adoption when it is born.
3. A 16-year-old boy who has an underlying medical disorder that causes chronic pain reveals he has been able to receive “medical marijuana” from a friend’s uncle. He only smokes it occasionally and feels his pain has been significantly relieved.
Support your ideas with specific examples and references to the professional literature.

Discussion 2 – 1 page needed with 2 references.
Rights, Views, Ethics, and State Laws
Choose one of the case vignettes you viewed in the Case Vignettes – Special Populations presentation in this unit’s study, and comment on it for this discussion.
CASE VIGNETTES BELOW:
Addictions Counseling
You have been working with Hugo, a 52-year-old man, in individual and group counseling sessions during the past three years to address his issues of alcohol and gambling addiction. Although Hugo has relapsed several times, he has been sober for six months. Last year he was diagnosed with a terminal illness and his condition has deteriorated more quickly than anyone anticipated. He is in considerable pain and is growing increasingly unable to take care of himself. Although his 77-year-old mother lives nearby and is able to visit from time to time, he has no other relatives to care for him. He’s become close to some of the members from his counseling groups, but he’s reluctant to take up too much of their time. During the last session, Hugo disclosed that when things get really bad he will end his own life. He’s been in touch with two people who have assisted other patients to hasten the end of their lives, and they have agreed to help him. He does not want you t o tell his mother or to tell anyone in the group counseling meetings that he’s made this decision. He’s asked if he can continue to see you in individual sessions for as long as he can, as you are his main support and the only person he can really talk to.
1. What legal and ethical issues are apparent in the case? List each issue and the corresponding state law or ethical standard.
2. What additional information would you want to obtain in this situation, and how would you proceed in order to obtain it?
3. What actions would you consider taking to address this situation?
Support your ideas with specific examples and references to the professional literature.