Responding to Legal Issues in Mental Health

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U09a1 Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues
Erica Bryant Owens
Capella University

Case Scenario: An 18 year old female named Simone is a new mother who does not know who the father of her child is. She is a high school dropout and receives government assistance. She has received a grant by her social worker to attend counseling for awhile. She has no family to depend on due to her parents being alcoholics and suffering from mental illness. Simone was labeled in school as having learning disabilities and a low I.Q. She is anxious and admits to smoking and selling marijuana only when the child is asleep. She is resistant when offered other ways to relax and she says that her drug use is only temporary at 3 times per week so far. Ethical Decision Making Model of Use: Remley presents a combined ethical decision making model within the text that is a combination of many other models. This model consists of eight concepts to ethical decision making (Remley, 2009). The first step is to identify and define the problem.- Simone is a young mother with no employment that receives assistance from the government. She has some mental issues with no family involvement to assist her and she does not plan on going back to school due to her low I.Q. She also has a substance abuse problem with the marijuana but may not be ready for help with this problem. The second step is: Tune in to your own feelings.- As a counselor, I feel an overwhelming sense of responsibility to help this client in as many ways as possible. I feel an enormous amount of devotion to the baby because he/she has no one else who can speak for him/her or to help other than the mother if I do not step in. As a counselor I have a duty to protect all clients involved, especially the children. This is my ethical duty. The third step is: Consult with colleagues, lawyers or experts. Sometimes decisions made in isolation are not as correct as those made with some advice from other colleagues in your field of...
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