Waterman Ethical Relativism and Deontology
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Waterman Ethical Relativism and Deontology
Examples of Exemplary Discussion Posts
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Main Post A. Waterman Ethical Relativism and Deontology Balancing of beneficence and nonmaleficence is not only the foundation of ethics it is an everyday part of a counseling profession as well as other professions. Defining ethical behavior is not always easy because as Remley and Herlihy (2010) note there is a long-standing debate over what constitutes moral and ethical behavior. Professional counseling organizations such as the American Counseling Association (ACA), American Mental Health Counseling Association (AMHCA), and the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC) have a code of ethics specific to their association. Even though these associations outline ethical behavior there are situations where these codes are conflicting. As a clinician, understanding your own morals, values, and biases helps to define the foundational principles that guide your ethical decision-making. This application assignment will provide a description of two foundational definitions related to counseling ethics and legal issues.
Ethical Relativism Ethical relativism is the belief that there are no moral standards that can be “universally applied” which is in contrast to ethical absolutism or the belief that there are some moral standards that are universal (Remley and Herlihy, 2010. p. 80). Ethical relativism allows for cultural diversity, which is an important aspect of allowing individuals to maintain autonomy as our society becomes more diverse and even global. An example of ethical relativism that led to positive social change in our country is found in the treatment of homosexuals. Less than fifty years ago homosexuality was listed as a psychological disorder in the United States, clinicians were ethically bound to help homosexuals change their behavior as it was (and still is by some) considered immoral. Pack-Brown, Thomas, and Seymour (2008) note that multicultural competence is necessary to prevent “unintentional counseling behaviors that are not in the best interest of clients from diverse groups and backgrounds” (p.298). Ethical relativism underscores the concept that moral standards are not universally applied and ethical decisions that balance beneficence and nonmaleficence need to consider cultural diversity. Deontology Deontology or the belief that actions are guided by principles not by consequences is another foundational belief. The opposing end of this principle is utilitarianism or the belief that actions should be guided so the results serve the greatest number. As a clinician, deontology provides the greatest beneficence to the client as it respects the autonomy of individuals. An example given in our text is a vignette that describes contrasting ethical foundations in the decision making process where there is an ethical dilemma involving the presentation of individual case files to a superior (Remley and Herlihy, 2010). While revealing the files would benefit the greater number, a deontologist views maintaining confidentiality of the client as the guiding principle and would not divulge a case file. Deontology is also seen in the treatment of homosexuals as psychologist began to take assert cultural differences in this group rather than pathology in this group. Deontologists argue respecting the right of the individual rather than attempting to change them for the greater good of all. Conclusion
Philosophers have differed in their opinions about morals, values, and ethics for years with no one theory proven more accurate than another has. As a clinician, understanding the foundations that guide ethical decisions is an evolving process. Seeing benefits to all of the differing foundational theories but my own life experiences, values, and morals allow me to align with some better than others. This assignment has been a true learning experience in evaluating my theory of ethical behavior. References Remley, T. P., Jr., & Herlihy, B. (2010). Ethical, legal, and professional issues
in counseling (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill/Pearson Education.
Pack-Brown, S., Thomas, T., & Seymour, J. (2008). Infusing professional
ethics into counselor education programs: A multicultural/social justice perspective. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86(3), 296-302. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database. Compliments of Audrey Waterman, ethical and legal issues in counseling, Fall, 2010.