Counselor Ethics on Aids Clients

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Running Head: CASE STUDY PROJECT

Case Study Project

Tanya Glover

Capella University

CASE STUDY PROJECT

Table of Contents

Abstract. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

The Ethical Dilemma. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4

Rest’s Four Component Model for Ethical Decision Making. . . .6

Counselor Biases and Values Influence Decisions....7

Duty to Warn in North Carolina. . . . . . . . . . .7

Duty to Warn in Case Study. . . . . . . . . . . . .8

Considering Duty to Warn. . . . . . . . . . . . . 12

Rest’s Four Component Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Personal Values, Emotions, and Bias. . . . . . . .15

Conclusion. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

References. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

CASE STUDY PROJECT

Abstract

Counselors face some complex ethical issues when treating HIV positive clients. This paper details the case of John who is HIV positive while continuing to practice unsafe sex with unsuspecting partners. Helping John to cope with both his fear and to come to a moral decision about his behavior is the goal of the counselor, who will use Rest’s Four Component Model of Ethical Decision Making in order to resolve the ethical dilemmas faced in this case. Ethical dilemmas must be approached differently depending on the state in which one is practicing. This paper will include duty to warn laws in North Carolina and how they apply to the case of John. North Carolina has no definitive laws on the topic of duty to warn and therefore, information on how to proceed in the case of John must be pulled from ACA code of ethics. By ruling out duty to warn this leaves the counselor with the option of treatment using Rest’s Four Component Model of Ethical Decision Making.

CASE STUDY PROJECT

Case Study Project

The ethical dilemma discussed in this paper deals with the client John. John is HIV positive yet continues to engage in sexual behaviors that are dangerous to his chosen partners. He has come to therapy to deal with his feelings of depression and anxiety over his condition. This paper will identify the ethical dilemma in John’s case and provide solutions based on the four-component decision-making model. Using the four-component model, this writer will attempt to explain John’s dilemma and what can be done to create a moral outcome for John.

The Ethical Dilemma

John’s case is one of great emotional difficulty. He is 26 years old and has come to therapy with the goal of dealing with his depression and anxiety which is directly related to his medical diagnosis. John revels that he partakes in unprotected sexual encounters with others who are unaware of his HIV positive status. He claims that this behavior helps him work through his fears about having what he refers to as a “death sentence”. Working with John and other HIV clients can present ethical dilemmas. Philips warns that “Some are relatively straightforward and easy to resolve; others can be confusing and CASE STUDY PROJECT

perplexing. The challenging situations, in HIV work, require a thoughtful and thorough processing of professionally relevant codes of ethics in order to decide upon the most ethical courses of action.”(Phillips). The complex ethical dilemma faced in John’s case deals with confidentiality and duty to warn which is one of the most common ethical dilemmas faced by counselors who work with HIV positive clients. The question at hand is when does a counselor have the duty to warn? When is it ethically acceptable to breach confidentiality? Another ethical dilemma here is one that lies at the feet of the client. The client is behaving unethically by allowing other, unknowing, people to be exposed to...
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