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The Six Ethical Principles

Powerful Essays
The Six Ethical Principles

When most people think of ethics or morals, they think of rules for differentiating between right and wrong, of rules regarding what is right or prudent. Ethics and morality assist us in reasoning and finding an answer when we find ourselves asking: “What should we do? How should we behave when faced with certain circumstances?” Rehabilitation counselors are professionals capable of making judgments, applying their skills and reaching informed decisions in situations that the general public cannot. Rehabilitation counselors are often confronted with situations which require sound ethical decision making ability. Rehabilitation counselors are committed to facilitating the personal, social, and economic independence of individuals with disabilities. Determining the appropriate course to take when confronted with a difficult ethical dilemma can be a challenge. In a perfect world, laws at all levels and all relevant codes of ethics would be perfectly in tune with one another, but this is not always the case. Ethical codes and guidelines cannot give all the answers to all situations that a counselor is forced to confront. There may be times when counselors may encounter a situation in where they must exercise personal and professional judgment because legal and professional requirement are inconsistent. At times the counselor may have to choose between actions that are legal, but not ethical, as in the case of a client that has expressed suicidal ideations. Ethical codes provide limited guidance to counselors for resolving ethical dilemmas. Counselors need to have critical analytical decision making skills to resolve them. Nevertheless, the six ethical principles will help rehabilitation profes...

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...imes, this alone will clarify the issues enough that the resolution of the dilemma will become obvious. In more complicated cases it is helpful to be able to work through the steps of an ethical decision making model and to assess which of these moral principles may be in conflict. Always remember the reason we chose this profession was for the benefit and wellbeing of the client. Van Hoose and Paradise (1979) offered a suggestion for counselors that may be wandering if their actions as a counselor towards a client are ethical or not. They suggest that if the counselor keeps a personal and professional honesty coupled with the best interests of the client in mind, without malice or gain and can justify her/his actions as the best judgment of what should be done based upon the current state of the profession, then they are probably acting in an ethical way.
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