One such aptitude is Cultural Competence and Social Diversity, which is in section 1.05 of the NASW code of ethics (National Association of Social Workers, 2008).
Social workers’ participation in the resolution of ethical dilemmas in hospice care.
SO: Health-and-Social-Work. 29(1): 67-76, Feb. 2004.
Ethical dilemmas are inherent in every health care setting. A sample of hospice social workers with no direct access to a hospice ethics committee (N = 110) was surveyed regarding ethical issues in hospice care, how the issues were managed, and the extent to which social workers participated in resolution of ethical dilemmas. Common issues discussed were the patients’ medical condition, involvement of family, and family denial of terminal illness. Difficult cases were discussed most often in interdisciplinary team meetings. Social workers were most involved in traditional social work activities, such as providing knowledge of community resources and patients’ psychosocial histories and promoting self-determination in policies. (This is one of seven articles in this special issue on end-of-life care.) (Journal abstract.)
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What do we know about social workers’ ethics?
SO: The-Social-Worker-Le-Travailleur-social. 60(3): 165-71, Fall 1992.
This paper discusses the topic of ethics and ethical behavior, and why this is of such current interest to professions, including social work, and likely to remain so. The paper reviews the findings of research studies concerned with social workers’ knowledge, attitudes, perceptions, and behavior as related to ethics. This review consists primarily of empirical studies conducted after 1980, since this is a period of resurgent interest in ethical issues. In conclusion, some suggestions are made for further research on social work ethics. (Journal abstract.)
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The state of hospice ethics committees and the social work role.
SO: Omega. 45I(3): 261-275, 2002.
This study found that in six states, most hospices (73 percent) had access to some type of ethics committee; however, less than 1/3 maintain a hospice-specific ethics committee. Social workers, although integral to the hospice team, were only members of about one-half of the hospice committees. Further, the study examined social workers’ current participation and role expectations of social workers and committee chairs for social work participation. Both groups viewed that social workers were important contributors and expected higher participation in all the three main activity areas–case consultation, policy, and education–than currently took place. As the particular skills and values of social work parallel both the purpose of ethics committees and hospice philosophy, and as these data suggest, opportunity exists for social workers to take on a greater role on hospice ethics committee and may be an important resource in the formation of such committees. (Journal Abstract.)
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Ethical activism: Strategies for empowering medical social workers.
AU: Jansson-B-S; Dodd-S-J
SO: Social-Work-in-Health-Care. 36(1): 11-28, 2002.
Little empirical research examines the extent medical social workers try to change attitudes, norms, expectations, and protocols to create a hospital environment that encourages their participation in ethical deliberations. The researchers developed an ethical activism scale that measured the extent medical social workers engaged in such ethical activism, confirming its reliability from data obtained from a sample of 162 medical social workers in 37 hospitals in the Los Angeles basin. They tested seven hypotheses that probed the extent specific ethics-training, organizational, and demographic variables influence the extent social workers engage in ethical activism. Data strongly suggest the need to expand ethics training to include tactics of ethical activism, since many social workers do not engage in ethical activism. Data also suggest the need to target such training to social workers in hospitals that are relatively unreceptive to social workers’ participation in ethical deliberations, since social workers are least likely to engage in ethical activism in such settings. (Journal abstract.)
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Clinical, ethical, and legal issues in e-therapy.
AU: Kanani-K; Regehr-C
SO: Families-in-Society. 84(2): 155, April-June 2003.
In recent years, many social workers have joined the ranks of virtual or e-therapists. While this offers exciting new opportunities for social work practice, the advent of e-therapy has come with a host of challenges particular to Internet communication that may not be reconcilable with current social work regulation. This paper reviews the social work codes of ethics in both the United States and Canada, legislation governing treatment, and case law with respect to several important issues related to e-therapy. The paper begins with a discussion of jurisdictional issues and expertise to practice e-therapy. Next, it suggests that if e-therapy fits within the purview of acceptable social work practice, the establishment of therapist-patient relationships creates professional duties of care owed to patients and to the public. Four of the most critical duties in a therapeutic encounter are considered: the duty to obtain informed consent, the duty to maintain confidentiality, the duty to warn third parties of harm, and the duty to maintain professional boundaries. (Journal abstract.)