Examples Of Ethical Dilemma In Social Work

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From time to time, social work practitioners face different challenges and one of such example is being confronted with ethical dilemmas. An ethical dilemma is defined as “when the social worker sees himself or herself as facing a choice between two equally unwelcoming alternatives, which may involve a conflict of moral values, and it is not clear which choice will be the right one” (Banks, 2012). Ethical dilemmas can occur in the context of either client or organisational-related conflict situations at work. The first ethical dilemma is when the patient refuses medical treatment and services because he or she would not accept that there is any problem. The dilemma lies in how the social work practitioner would respect the patient’s autonomy and determining whether the patient is competent. Furthermore, the social work practitioner is responsible for assessing whether the patient understands the consequences of his or her behaviours. Because, often than not, there are different risks associated with the patient’s refusal to medical treatment and services. Thus, in such cases, social workers would face the ethical dilemma of deciding whether to protect or limit the right of how the patient should live his or her life. The second ethical dilemma is that social work practitioners and their clients have different personal values. Despite social workers best efforts to keep their feelings in check and to respect differences, being confronted with situations in which their

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