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Origin, root and meaning of ethics

Ethics is a word that has its origins from the Greek word “ethike” that means the study of habits. It has its roots in philosophy, as it is a branch of philosophy that studies the values and customs of people and also encompasses the use of the concepts of right and wrong. It concerns itself with human conduct and moral decision-making. It is used to discover what are the principles that guide people in deciding what is right and what is wrong.

It is sub-divided into normative, applied and meta-ethics. A social worker is expected to work in an ethical manner. However there may be times when they can be accused of malpractice. The Alberta College of social workers advocates for the filling of a complaint when a social worker is suspected to have involved in malpractice. The complaint is submitted by the employer who has either fired or suspended the social worker or if the social worker has handed in a resignation letter due to misconduct.

The complaint can be filed by the person against whom the offence has been committed or by a person reporting on behalf of the person or it can be by a fellow social worker that has identified a malpractice (Behnke S. 2004). The complaint is given to the college’s complaints director who must then make a decision and notify the person who has brought in the complaint on the decision in thirty days time. The social worker against whom the complaint is about is also notified and he or she is asked to respond to it through a written document.

The complaint can be resolved by either an expert being invited, an investigator used to investigate and encourage the two parties to resolve the issue amongst themselves, assist in the solving of the issue, the matter can be solved by the alternative complaint resolution or it may also be dismissed or the social worker may be assessed for incapacity. Ethical relativism rejects the fact that there is only one single moral standard that is to be used by all people. It emphasizes that there is no single code of ethics but are many according to the different people.

The different moral standards found among different people go ahead to confirm that none is absolutely correct. Absolutists on the other hand assume that there is a single standard of morality that should be adhered to by all (http://www. unc. edu). The difference between effectiveness and efficiency is that effectiveness is concerned with the relative cost f achieving your stated object such as budget, time and resources. Efficiency o the other hand relates to the degree to which the desired outcome is achieved.

The right to privacy is considered a fundamental right in the U. S and every person has the right to determine when, how and what extent he/she wants to share personal information with others. Therefore, it is not only right or wrong not keeping privacy and confidentiality but also broke the law. The duty to warn is a responsibility to a therapist to breach confidentiality if a client or other identifiable person is in clear or coming up to any danger.

It originated from the 1974 and 1976 rulings of the California Supreme Court in the Tarasoff U.S regents of university of California case. If the therapist somehow found out that his/her client is planning to commit suicide the therapist is obligated to investigate and should not leave the indicated client alone until the guardians have arrived. Respect for the rights and dignity of people is core in the autonomy of a client. A client’s right to self-determination can be found in the four ethical standards “informal consent, informed consent to research, informed consent to therapy and informed consent in assessments (Behnke S. 2004).

In this the client is autonomous as the decision lies with them. Value neutrality forbids the allowing of beliefs into the doctor patient relationship and this may cause a problem when dealing with a patient who brings own beliefs into the relationship.

References: Behnke S. 2004 Informed consent and APA’s new ethics code: enhancing client autonomy, improving client care Stace W. T. Ethical Relativity and Ethical Absolutism retrieved on 12th October 2007 from www. unc. edu/~hassoun/phil323/Business%20Ethics/Ethical%20Relativity%20and%20Ethical%20Absolutism. ppt.