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Ethics. Decision Making

COSC 501

Ethical Decision-Making Paper Assignment Instructions


The purpose of this assignment is to develop the ability to apply professional values, ethic codes, and a decision-making model to the process of ethical decision-making. The American Counseling Association (ACA) has outlined a model to help structure the decision-making process when counselors are confronted with complex ethical issues.


· Choose one ethical dilemma from the two described below to read and analyze, applying the American Counseling Association’s (ACA) Decision Making Model as outlined in the document, “A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making.”

· The body of your paper should be 6-9 pages. Additionally, the paper should include an abstract, title page, and reference page.

· The paper should be written in current APA format.

· Divide the body of your paper into the steps outlined in the ACA document, using APA level headings throughout and making sure to address all questions for each section.

· Using the ACA Decision-Making Model as your guide, first outline the facts of the dilemma and the underlying problem, then identify all applicable ACA ethics codes and moral principles of the profession.

· Next, identify relevant professional literature that applies to dilemma and persons that would potentially be consulted.

· Then list all potential courses of action, describing potential consequences and implications for each course of action.

· Next, identify the best course of action and explain why you chose this action.

· Finally, review the selected course of action to see if it presents any new ethical problems, applying the tests of justice, publicity and universality, and end by describing what steps will be taken to implement the course of action

· At least 3 peer-reviewed journal articles must be cited as well as the course textbook. The web address for state rules/regulations must also be included.

Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the SafeAssign plagiarism tool.

Ethical Dilemma 1

Amanda, a counselor in a public high school, decides to start a “relationship skills” group for juniors and seniors. She posts an advertisement for the group in the school counseling office. Her advertisement provides minimal information including the name of the group, the date and time of the first meeting and the school counseling office secretary is listed as the contact. Amanda instructs the secretary for the counseling office to admit the first nine students who call to enroll. The secretary adds students to the group as they call in irrespective of the nature of their problems, their personal goals for the group or previous experience with group.

At the first meeting, nine students show up including seven females and two males. Having never talked with or met the students before, Amanda begins by asking them to share why they have come to the group. One of the males, Paul, shares that he was new to the high school this year, and had just been released from a detention center after serving one year for domestic violence. Paul states that he has “anger issues” especially directed at “women”. At break, five of the females leave and do not return to the group. Paul breaks down in the group and states that he is going to kill himself when he gets home.

Ethical Dilemma 2

Jason, a 7th grader, was referred to you by a teacher who said Jason expressed suicidal intentions because he is having some personal and family issues. You talk to Jason long enough to assess that he is at imminent risk of suicide. Since Jason is a minor, the school counselor contacts the Jason’s parent(s) and prints a resource list of community mental health counselors to give to the parent. Is this the best course of action, ethically and legally, on behalf of this student?

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