Understanding Ethical Codes
Ethical Minute Paper 1 – Week 4
ReShaya L. McBride
Professor Timothy J. Evans
In society today, most jobs require you to follow the ethical codes, to create a well-organized, and confidential environment for the people. Two videos were shown in two different settings where the code of ethics is known to be practiced. One video took place in a counseling practice, and the other took place in a court room, both videos were based upon the code of ethics and the confidentiality of a client. The protection of a client’s records and information is highly recommended in the code of ethics, but when comes down to a situation with the courts and they’re involved the client information can be released if ordered by the judge. The code of ethics is the representation of the value statement a company withholds, it brings order to the company, or business. During the Researching and studying of both ACA ethical codes and the states regulations information was found in support of a client’s confidentiality.
Understanding Ethical Codes
Code of Ethics in a professional setting is very important, because it is designed to provide specific bylaws that will influence or establish order to professionals who practice anything in a professional field. American counseling Association and state regulations provide guidance and direction in making ethical decisions for their members. ACA code of ethics and state regulation cover a wide range of moral and ethical situations that could present themselves to mental health professionals. Code of ethics have significant impact on the counseling profession, and the tools provided by the code of ethics ensure that mental health professionals are able to conform to the regulations set forth. They address common concerns from varying points of view. Understanding the code of ethics is very essential in the mental health field. According to the ACA Code of Ethics, 2004, H.1.b, “Counselors assist in the process of enforcing the ACA Code of Ethics. Counselors cooperate with investigations, proceedings, and requirements of the ACA Ethics Committee or ethics committees of other duly constituted associations or boards having jurisdiction over those charged with a violation” (p.19), and the state code of ethics is written in similarity.
Confidentiality in both the ACA code of ethics and state regulation is very important when it involves the client. In the ACA code of ethics in section B.1.b it states that “Counselors respect the privacy of prospective and current clients. Counselors request private information from clients only when it is beneficial to the counseling process”. South Carolina state regulations state in similarity state that “all client information must be protected when practicing in the professional role”, it also state that “professional Counselors may share confidential information when there is a clear and imminent danger to the client and others, as provided by law”. During the video titled “A helpful receptionist”, although she was helpful she did not practice the ACA code of ethics and the South Carolina regulations. When practicing confidentiality in a professional setting, like a counseling practice, you may not give away any sort of information that involves the client including the counselor that the client is seeing. In the video the receptionist violated that code and regulation when dispensing information to the client’s ex-husband. To support the scenario in the video in the South Carolina state regulation article 7 section 36-19 it states “Professional Counselors shall maintain client confidentiality as provided by law”. In the ACA code of ethics in section B.1.c in support to the scenario it states “Counselors protect the confidential information of prospective and current clients. Counselors disclose information only with appropriate consent or with sound legal or ethical justification”. During the next video titled “Whose privileged?” the counselor was asked to display to the court information about the client, but when asked the counselor refuse to display information. South Carolina state regulations state as mentioned before that “Professional Counselors may share confidential information when there is a clear and imminent danger to the client and others, as provided by law”, confidentiality should be kept confidential until the client may be in danger, or if ordered by the courts. ACA code of ethics is in agreement with the South Carolina state regulations by stating “The general requirement that counselors keep information confidential does not apply when disclosure is required to protect clients or identified others from serious and foreseeable harm or when legal requirements demand that confidential information must be revealed. Counselors consult with other professionals when in doubt as to the validity of an exception. Additional considerations apply when addressing end-of-life issues”. When dealing with legal issues the privilege and confidentiality belongs to the courts.
Ethics Codes and state regulations is intended to support us in differentiating between suitable and deplorable behavior in regards to all individuals. When in a professional setting organization develops a ethical climate. leadership, staff, contractors, vendors, customers, and the public must all be treated in the utmost respect. It is one thing to establish a code of ethical conduct for an organization in the public sector, but it is quite another to really impress upon all employees the importance of living up to that code of conduct.
American Counseling Association (2014). ACA Code of Ethics. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association. Retrieved from: https://www.counseling.org/docs/default source/ethics/2014-code-of-ethics.pdf?sfvrsn=2d58522c_4
South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and regulations. South Carolina Legislature 07 June 2012, https://www.llr.sc.gov/pol/counselors/ethics.htm