Ethical Dilemmas Of A Social Work In The Nurse

1441 Words 6 Pages
Introduction of the case
Marcy R is a social worker at the BFL General Hospital. At this hospital, Marcy works primarily with cancer patients and their families. Marcy was assigned to Michael’s case. Michael is a frail 68-year-old man admitted to the hospital for a exploratory surgery of his abdomen. According to Michael’s physician, he is “emotionally labile.” After the surgery, Michael’s daughter, Ellen B, talked to Marcy regarding her father’s medical situation. Ellen informed Marcy that Michael’s physician reported that the surgery’s results showed that Michael has terminal cancer. Ellen said that the family was in shock because they did not expect that diagnosis. Ellen told Marcy that her family agreed not to inform Michael about his
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Ethical dilemma
In this case, the ethical dilemma is whether Marcy decides to help the family and violate the integrity and dignity and worth principle, or to let the doctor inform Michael about his diagnosis and violate the service principle.
Issues related to the case
Michael was diagnosed with cancer; therefore, Marcy’s decision whether to help the family keeps the secret or not is going to generate risks on Michael’s health and affect Marcy’s profession as a social worker. The important issues in Michael’s case are: Michael’s terminal cancer, family’s desire to keep the diagnosis as a secret, Michael being described as “emotionally labile,” and the hospital policies. Michael has the right to know what is happening; however, his family does not want him to know it. This situation generates a problem because as a social worker, it is important to take in consideration the family’s will, but it is also important to analyze what is the best decision in order to help Michael. The
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However, since Michael’s family does not agree, it is necessary to analyze the situation based on the information provided by the NASW Code of Ethics. The ethical principle included in the Code of Ethics (2008) mentions that, “social workers promote clients’ socially responsible self-determination. Social workers seek to enhance clients’ capacity and opportunity to change and to address their own needs (p.5).” Therefore, in order to follow this principle, it is important for Marcy to let Michael knows about his terminal cancer, so he can state what he wants and clarify his desires and goals. On the other hand, the NASW Code of Ethics also mentions the value of service. “As a social worker, your primary goal is to help people and address their problems” (AATBS, 2016, 3). Therefore, even though Marcy’s patient is Michael, Ellen is seeking for her help too. Thus, Marcy has to also provide the best service to all the people involved in the case and to fulfill their

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