A counselor has been treating a client named Jay who recently met with a bad accident that left him bed-ridden and partially paralyzed. With sustained physiotherapy and medication, the paralytic effect has gone but motor movements are still affected.
His steady girlfriend left him when she could not cope with the demands of a paralytic partner. Jay lost his job too. These left a heavy dent on his self-esteem and he was slowly letting his life slip past. He then opted for therapy.
One day, he discloses to his counselor that he is contemplating suicide because there is nothing he looks forward to in life. He announces that he has had enough of living and plans to shoot himself that evening. The counselor knows he has access to an old hunting rifle and that he has attempted suicide in the past. He has been under treatment for major clinical depression for the past three months.
- Discuss the ethical issues presented in this scenario; identify the ethical code number and definition.
- If the counselor were to act ethically, would the counselor find it necessary to break confidentiality with this client?
- Justify why or why not you feel the counselor would not need to break confidentiality.
- If a counselor were to find it necessary to break confidentiality because of a client’s risk of harm to himself/herself, what steps would the counselor follow to carry this out?
- Compare the ethical issues presented in this scenario to the APA’s ethical standards and describe the similarities or differences in the ethical code, using the following Web site: http://www.apa.org/ethics/code/index.aspx