The Concepts of Beneficence and Benevolence The term beneficence connotes acts of mercy, kindness, and charity.
People who work with young children, or in child protective services Lawyers and paralegals Administrators of all types of community programs or their sponsoring organizations Non-professional line staff home health aides, overnight staff at residential facilities and shelters In some states, many of these people -- medical personnel, mental health workers, social workers, educators and others who work with children and youth -- are legally considered mandated reporters.
A mandated reporter is required by law to report any suspected instance of child physical or sexual abuse or child neglect. Most formal codes of professional ethics demand such reporting as well. What are the ethical issues that need to be considered, and how do they play out in community interventions?
Not all of the areas discussed below are covered by a specific legal or ethical code for every profession or community service, but are nonetheless related to ethical behavior for just about any program or organization.
All should at least be considered as you define ethics for yourself and your program. It protects both participants and the organization from invasion of privacy, and establishes a bond of trust between the participant and the program. No one but the individual working with a particular participant will have access to information about or records of that participant without her permission.
At this level of confidentiality, records and notes are usually kept under lock and key, and computer records should be protected by electronic coding or passwords.
Most programs not required by law or professional ethics to keep all information confidential do so anyway, both out of moral scruples and to establish trust with their participants. There are, however, specific exceptions to complete confidentiality.
If the program staff member is a mandated reporter for child abuse and neglect, if the participant presents a threat to himself or others, or if the staff member is subpoenaed in a legal case, both the law and ethical codes generally require that the staff person put her responsibilities to the law or to the safety of others above her promise of confidentiality.
Some program staff may consider their relationship with participants to be ethically more important than legal considerations. They may either not take or periodically destroy notes from meetings with participants; refuse to testify in court cases and risk being fined or incarcerated for contempt of court ; or simply "not remember " the relevant information.
What are the obligations of that youth worker at the beginning of this section? Exceptions to confidentiality should be made clear to participants at the beginning of their involvement in the program see "Disclosure" below.
Information is confidential within a program, but may be shared among staff members for purposes of consultation and delivering better services to the participant.
Teachers in an adult literacy program, for instance, may confer about a student with a particular learning disability or problem. This type of sharing is consistent with the rules of the Family Educational Right to Privacy Act, popularly known as the Buckley Amendment, which protects academic records.
This act was meant to assure both that student records were not distributed to non-school recipients without the permission of the student or her family, and that students and their families would have free access to copies of their records.
It also gives those students and their families the right to question any elements of those records, and to negotiate corrections where necessary. This kind of arrangement usually requires that participants be told about it from the beginning, and that they sign release forms giving the program permission to share records and information under appropriate circumstances.
Information is confidential within a program, but is submitted to funding sources as documentation of services provided. This situation can lead to problems if participants have been promised complete confidentiality.
The stakes become higher if some participants are illegal aliens.
Information is not confidential, or is only confidential under certain circumstances. Participation in a program may be court-mandated or mandated by an agency as a condition of receiving benefits or services.
Often, in those cases, participation implies an agreement to the sharing of records and information, and may even be a matter of public record. All of which brings us to the next two issues, which may intertwine with confidentiality and each other: Consent There are really three faces of consent: Consent to sharing of information.
As we found in the discussion of confidentiality above, most participant records and information collected by program staff can only be passed on with the consent of the participant. In general, this consent is embodied in a standard form signed by the participant, granting permission to a program in which he was formerly or is currently enrolled to share his information with another organization, in which he is also a former or current participant.
In some programs, a participant might sign a blanket form on entrance, but a separate form is usually needed for each separate instance of information sharing outside the program itself. Informed consent for services, treatment, research, or program conditions.
In others -- medical diagnoses, for instance -- there are no "normal" expectations. A third possibility involves participants enrolling in a community intervention which is also a study. In any of these instances, ethical practice demands that people be fully informed -- and can ask and have answered any questions -- about what they are about to take part in.
An informed consent form is usually the vehicle by which participants give their permission to be involved in these interventions. In the case of any major medical treatment surgery, for exampledoctors and hospitals generally require an informed consent form as a matter of course.
Patients have a right to be told exactly what their diagnosis is, what treatment is being recommended and why, what its risks and advantages are, possible outcomes, etc.Chapter 1: Introduction to Environmental Science.
An evaluation by other specialists in the field, who provide comments and criticism. Theory. A widely accepted, well-tested explanation of one or more cause-and-effect relationships The application of ethical standards to environmental questions and decisions.
(ex: do we have an. The Nature of Morality and Moral Theories. The words "moral" and "ethics" (and cognates) are often used interchangeably. from theory to applied issue.Ý Sometimes a case may suggest that we need to change or adjust our thinking about what moral theory we think is the best, or perhaps it might lead us to think that a preferred theory needs.
They are recommended as the initial criteria by which to judge the quality of the program evaluation efforts. The propriety standards ensure that the evaluation is an ethical one, conducted with regard for the rights and interests of those involved.
A minimalist theory of evaluation: the least theory that practice requires. American. Ethical Issues in Community Interventions; Section 6.
Promoting the Adoption and Use of Best Practices; This last point brings up a major issue -- one that has intrigued philosophers for centuries. The supervisor has power over the other's employment and/or professional evaluation, which puts pressure on the subordinate to enter into.
Ethical, Social, and Legal Issues OBJECTIVES Bioethics is the application of ethics to health care. Ethical behavior for nurses is discussed in codes such as the American Nurses Association Code for Nurses. Ethical issues have become more complex as tech- nurses must apply ethical theories and principles and deter-.
If you answered yes, you were probably using a form of moral reasoning called "utilitarianism." Stripped down to its essentials, utilitarianism is a moral principle that holds that the morally right course of action in any situation is the one that produces the greatest balance of benefits over.