Ethical Vignette Paper 1

The vignette video covered ethical issues such as; duty to report, duty to warn, confidentiality and privileged information. The first case scenario was about a foster child by the name of Dominic who was taken to the emergency room by his foster parent. Dominic was unconscious when he arrived at the hospital and he had a bruise under his eye and several bruises on his body. The foster parent explained that the child had suffered bruises from being jostled in his car seat. Ms. Brown, the nurse on duty, accepted the explanation and Dominic was released the next day only to return four days later with a head injury.

Dominic died in the emergency room. Health care professionals have the duty to report suspected child abuse; therefore, Nurse Brown faced criminal charges. The argument that Nurse Brown posed was that the phrase, “reasonable cause to suspect” was too vague, thereby, unconstitutional. The trial court agreed with Mrs. Brown that the statute referencing reasonable cause to suspect was too vague; as a result, he dismissed the charges against Nurse Brown. However, it was sent to the Supreme Court and decision was overturned and the statute was upheld. In the second case, confidentiality and the exception to confidentiality is discussed.

The client in this case is a lady who was a longtime client of a therapist. The client was rear ended by a drunk driver. This client reportedly claimed having issues with sleeping, eating , and intimacy with her husband as a result of the accident in addition to developing anxiety and suffering from physical injuries. This client decided to sue as she had to increase her sessions to twice a week due to suffering from the accident. As a result, the lawyer of the presumably drunk driver ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 3 subpoenaed her records of counseling.

The client in this case waived her privilege and right to confidentiality when she sought compensation for treatment for injuries incurred. The defendant, drunk driver, has a right to view the records to see exactly what treatment is being given to the plaintiff. Other cases were addressed when referencing the complexities of confidentiality and privileged information. Sheila Royal, a police officer, reported to a domestic abuse scene. When Officer Royal arrived on the scene, a lady ran from a house yelling for help and a man ran behind her brandishing a knife. Officer Royal shouted for the man to stop but he continued to run after the woman.

Just as the man caught up with the lady, Officer Royal fired her gun; the man died. Officer Royal was placed on administrative leave and she went to counseling. The mother of the deceased man, Wanda Jeffrey, sued Officer Royal and the police department for wrongful death and the violation of her sons civil rights. Ms. Jeffrey stated that her son did not have a knife and was running after the young lady to take her back to the house to settle the matter. This presented the issue of whether the woman was in imminent danger. If Ms. Jeffrey’s son did not have a knife, there was no need for Officer Royal to fire. Ms.

Jeffrey demanded to see the notes form Officer Royal’s counseling session. Ms. Jeffrey believed that Officer Royal disclosed that there was no knife during her session with the counselor. Officer Royal refused to have the notes released; she stressed that her notes were privileged and confidential. Furthermore, Officer Royal threatened to sue her counselor if she released the notes. The trial judge requested that the notes be released and when Officer Royal objected, he instructed the jury to conclude that there was no knife.

This particular case would set a precedent as to whether the client, Officer Royal, has a right to privacy or does the court have the right to seek the truth by overriding the officer’s ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 4 confidentiality. The judge placed value on therapy over seeking the truth through sequestering confidential notes obtained during Officer Royal’s therapy session. In the next case, duty to warn is addressed. A young man by the name of Prosenjit Podder met a young lady by the name of Tatiana Tarrasof at a university dance class. They became friends and began seeing eachother once a week.

Tatiana kissed Podder on New Year’s and he assumed that they were in a serious relationship until she informed him that she had a boyfriend. Podder was crushed and he became distressed. He told people that he loved Tatiana and that he was going to kill her if he could not have her. Podder sought help on his own; he began seeing Dr. Moore at the university hospital. During his ninth session, he told Dr. Moore that he was going to kill Tatiana. Dr. Moore notified the campus police and sent an informative letter which stated that Podder suffered from Paranoid Schizophrenia. Dr. Moore stated that if Podder were picked up, he would sign a 72 hour detaining notice so that an evaluation could be completed on him.

The police talked with Podder found him to be rational and let him go. Two months later Podder goes to Tatiana’s house, shoots her with a pellet gun and stabbed her with a knife. Podder was tried and convicted of murder but during an appeal, the case was sent back to trial. The state prosecutor accepted an offer from the defense that Podder return to India and to never return to the states. Podder was deported. Tatiana’s parents sued the University for being negligent in failing to protect their daughter by not warning her of Podder’s intention to kill her. The case was dismissed by the trial judge.

The ruling was that a there was no duty of care to Tatiana as she was not a patient at the hospital. An individual or a hospital cannot be negligent if there is no duty of care. After pondering how breach of confidence could hinder and help the public, it was decided that duty to warn of danger outweighed the need for the client’s confidentiality to be upheld. ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 5 Discovery: According to the American Counseling Association (ACA) Code of Ethics B. 1. c. , counselors must reserve respect for confidentiality. Counselors are obligated to protect the confidential information of potential and existing clientele.

Counselors should only divulge information with appropriate consent or with sound legal rationalization. (ACA)B. 2. A Confidentiality is further addressed and it opposes the right of the client’s privacy when the need for the protection of the client or others is at risk of serious harm or endangerment. Furthermore, confidentiality can be challenged when legal requirements mandate that confidential information must be revealed. In addition to the ACA Code of Ethics, each state has its own set of governing regulations to observe. In the state of Virginia, the confidentiality of a client is protected under Code of Virginia 54. 1-2400. 1 D.

1. which states counselors may breach confidentiality with limited purpose of providing protection to third parties by informing them of threats made by clients. Counselors not only have the duty to warn, they also have the duty to report suspected child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services (CPS) according to the Code of Virginia 63. 2-1509. In fact, any individual who works in the human services sector is mandated to report suspects of abuse. Reaction & Action: My initial reaction to all the potential dilemmas that counselors face in their practice was surprising.

Legality and clinical judgment are quite often conflicting in regards to dealing with the general public. For instance, if a client verbalizes that he or she is going to kill someone in the middle of a counseling session, the counselor knows that this client is just venting but cannot ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 6 guarantee that the client will not act on that threat. Herlihy and Remly (2014), affirms that, “Research indicates that it is impossible to predict whether a particular person is going to harm someone else; yet the law and our ethical standard require counselors to determine whether it is dangerous” (p. 188). Should the counselor warn the other party?

The rules relating to confidentiality are quite complex because they are not absolute and the exceptions are not always clear. Therefore, counselors are consistently trained through consultations with seasoned counselors or counselor training programs. The knowledge gained through the videos observed will be most helpful to me as I learned that privileged information can be superseded by the courts. In the event that this occurs, the counselor may be caught between cooperating with the court system and ruining the counselor/client relationship.

This could hinder the client’s progress; on the contrary, not cooperating with the court would place the counselor in contempt of court. However, all subpoenas received by counselors are not valid. Remley and Herlihy (2014), affirms that, “Confidential or privileged information should not be revealed in response to a subpoena until an attorney representing the counselor has advised that course of action” (p. 126). In addition, I learned that duty to warn and protect was a result of the Tarasoff vs. Regents of the University of California. The counselor has a responsibility to take measures to protect third parties from imminent danger.

Counselors may exercise the duty by notifying police of possible harm to individuals or warn the intended victim. These guidelines will be used to monitor my actions in my current and future career. This assignment created a sense of awareness as to the importance of safeguarding confidentiality and knowing when exceptions should be appropriately honored. My plans are to become more familiar with ACA Code of Ethics and my state board rules/regulations so that I may apply them ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 7 correctly. In my current position, I work with at-risk youth and quite often out of anger these adolescents verbally threaten others.

I will address these incidents and document accordingly as I am reminded of the fact that I am mandated to report. ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 8 Reference The American Counseling Assoication (ACA). 2014. ACA Code of ethics. The Y2014 final code. Retrieved counseling. org Herlihy, B. , & Remley Jr. , T. (2014). Ethical, legal, and professional issues in counseling. (4th ed. ). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Inc. Professional counseling. (n. d. ). Retrieved February 7, 2015, from www. dhp. virginia. gov/ counseling/counseling_laws_regs. htm ETHICAL VIGNETTE PAPER 1 9.