DSM-5 and the Ethics of Diagnosis

This article explores the DSM-5 in relation to ethical concerns such as demonstrating respect for the dignity and worth of all people, empowering clients, practicing within one’s professional competence, and owing a primary duty of care to clients.

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Deciding for My Client: When Social Workers Serve as Proxies

Proxies play an important role in the lives of people who lack mental capacity, making key decisions on their behalf. Acting as a proxy can be very interesting and meaningful work. When deciding whether to act as a proxy, consider benefits and risks. more »


Risks of Risk Management

Some agencies and social work ethicists are strong proponents of a risk management approach to handling ethical issues. According to this approach, workers should identify the risks of various courses of action to determine the best course to take. more »


Being Conscientious: Ethics of Impairment and Self Care

Nobody is perfect. What are our ethical obligations when we are experiencing physical, emotional, social, or spiritual distress that impairs our ability to practice social work competently? more »

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Ebola and the Ethics of Using Unproven Drugs

By the first week of August 2014, more than 2,100 people in the west African countries had contracted the Ebola virus. More than 1,100 of these people had died.People were told there was no cure, but ZMapp was given to two Americans. more »


Teaching Cultural Competence

New social workers are on a path of self-discovery and has embraced acceptance, where he or she is from, and all that it entails. The new social worker speaks with confidence about race and ethnicity and knows about his or her culture. Are we ready? more »

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Do Involuntary Clients Have a Right to Self-Determination?

Self-determination is built on the values of autonomy and respect for the dignity and worth of all people. So, given the primacy of self-determination, how is it that social workers can ethically justify working with clients who are mandated to more »

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Ethics in Private Practice

The NASW Code of Ethics does not mention private practice, per does not specifically condone or support private practice, and it does not reject or warn against private practice. It does, however, include a number of relevant ethical standard more »

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Social Work Podcast: Interview With Allan Barsky on Social Workers in Court

Jonathan Singer interviews social work ethics and legal expert Allan Barsky on social workers in court. more »


Social Work Podcast: Interview With Allan Barsky on Social Work Values and Ethics

Jonathan Singer interviews social work ethics expert Allan Barsky on social work values and ethics. more »


Ethics Alive! Ethical Concerns in Social Work Field Supervision

When student interns and other new social workers are making decisions about where to work, one of the most important factors to consider is the quality of field supervision. Ideally, you will have a supervisor who not only excels as a practitioner, more »

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