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The Feminist Model To Solving Ethical Dilemmas

963 words - 4 pages

One ethical issue related to Human Service practice is upholding the clients self-determination when they are suffering from a mental illness (client self-determination vs. mental health). Ethics are a branch of moral philosophy that deals with right (ethical) and wrong (unethical)(Dolgoff and Loewenberg, 1992). However they can also provide dilemmas such as the one being discussed in this essay. Ethical dilemmas are situations whereby there is a choice between equally undesirable alternatives that in turn involve moral values that appear to have equal validity (Banks, 2006). When dealing with such dilemmas it is important to refer to one of the ethical decision-making framework. These frameworks provide step-by-step guidance to help assist practitioners through complex decisions. There are four key models to refer to; The feminist and reflective model, The inclusive model, The ethical principles screen and the E.T.H.I.C model. However the one most suited for the current ethical dilemma is the Feminist model.

In order to choose the most appropriate model when faced with an ethical dilemma it is important to have a good understanding of the frameworks. Ethical decision-making models are designed around different ethical theories. These approaches consisting of the deontological approach, consequentialist (utilitarian) approach and the virtue approach. The virtue approach implies that an action is right if it is what a virtuous agent would do in the circumstances. (Brown, 2001). However the most common approach being used in practice is a combination of deontological and consequentialist. Deontologists justify there decisions by claiming to choose the option which is morally correct. The consequentialists justify there decisions as doing what is in the best interest for the maximum amount of people (Reamer, 1990). Thus when the two theories are combined the course of action chosen is one that is in the greatest good for the greatest amount of people however with the least amount of sacrifice to individuals rights. In the current ethical dilemma of client self-determination vs. mental health, the feminist model is the embodiment of these two ethical theories subsequently providing the most effective course of action.

The Feminist model consists of seven steps that involve full client participation, therefore still promoting client self-determination. The first step is to recognise the problem then define the problem in collaboration with the client. After, using a cost-benefit analysis, develop solutions with the client monitoring the client’s personal responses to each alternative. The following step then being to choose the preferred alternative. Step five is now where the case manager and the client review the process and go on to implement and evaluate the decision. Lastly, continual reflection is used consequently educating both the client and practitioner in future decisions. The problem to be recognised by Jeanie is that her goals are...

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