November 25th 2018
Becky has presented an ethical issue. Becky has AIDs and is not responding very well to her new medication. Becky has a 4 year old daughter whom she fears she will not be able to properly care for as her health is failing. The ethical issue that Becky has presented is that she would like to kill herself, and she would like for me to help her to find a good home for her daughter, and also to help her “get her affairs in order” before her suicide.
As a human service professional I would identify the issue that Becky has presented to me about her wanting to kill herself as an ethical issue that I would need to make some important decisions about. I have a legal and ethical responsibility as a human service professional to make decisions that are in the best interest of, and promote the well-being of my clients. I also have a legal obligation to report situations where I feel that my client could harm someone or themselves.
There are a few steps I would take before making a decision. I would first consult the code of ethics to make sure that I am covering all areas of concern in the proper ways. I would then review state and federal laws to be sure that my decisions are the best ones I could make for my client and myself both ethically and legally. I would then consult my colleagues, supervisor, and if needed the NASW to discuss this dilemma in a confidential setting, with neutral party, to get professional advice on how to handle things. I would then take some time to process everything to ensure that I am making the best possible decision...