Ethical Issues In Health And Social Care Essay

628 Words3 Pages
All social workers, regardless of practice setting, will inevitably work with clients facing long-term illness, dying, death, grief, and bereavement. With the U.S. population aging, social workers are increasingly called into this specialized field. The social worker plays a vital role in caring for end-of-life clients and their families, including assisting with psychosocial-spiritual consequences of illness. Hospice and palliative care are models of quality, compassionate care for people facing a life-limiting illness or injury, including family members. Each person has the right to die pain-free and with dignity. The social worker’s role is to assess complex needs of patients and families, communicate psychosocial needs of patients and families to team members,…show more content…
Clients choice in matters of life and death are at the heart of the social work practice. Ethical dilemmas occur every day in practice, and therapists need to remind themselves of their profession’s values and code of ethics while assisting these clients and their families (ref). With respect to advanced directives and living wills, social workers should be at the forefront of this process, since they are trained to look at the entire person, not just the medical perspective. They are used to working with people of various cultural and ethnic backgrounds which might make them hesitant to have an advanced directive or living will. Social workers understand that advanced directives are a psychosocial decision, or a right of self-determination as much as a medical choice. Social workers must possess a solid knowledge base of basic advanced directive documents. With this knowledge, they should be promoting advanced care planning by encouraging communication among clients and their families about preferences and values for care, assist clients in completing documents, and support families in respecting and advancing their loved one’s
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