Part A: Services in Health Settings
Pages 76

This chapter focuses on ethical issues that arise within the therapeutic relationship: confidentiality, duty to protect, duty to treat, determination of capacity, and suicide. It involve personal, professional, and legal values and consequences. Confidentiality is a 'mode of management of private information', the process of protecting information confided by a client from disclosure to others without client authorization. Ethics experts are careful to present both sides of the 'competing goods', but may emphasize one aspect or the other in order to make the discussion useful in practice. It is not considered clinically advisable to work in an area in which one lacks expertise or to work with a client when countertransference is impeding appropriate service provision. Moral, ethical, and legal issues for social workers with terminally ill clients will involve rational suicide as workers struggle to choose between the competing values of client autonomy and the duty to keep clients safe even against their own self-destructive behaviors.