TSOCWF 301A & B – Ethics Paper Instructions

Applying Ethics in the Real World. This assignment will be done in dyads (self-selected) and each dyad will turn in one paper for both students. This paper is intended to provide an opportunity to 1) assess how ethical principles come into play in specific areas of social work practice; 2) provide practice in using a framework for resolving ethical dilemmas, applying that framework to a case study; and, 3) writing an academic paper using proper APA formatting. Students will select one case study from the two provided by the instructor and discuss the ethical principles that apply to addressing the conflict in question. This paper is worth 50% of your course grade and is due on 11/29.

Begin by selecting ONE of the following case studies for use in your paper. Read the information carefully until you and your partner are familiar with the scenario. Next, use Mattison’s Framework to analyze ethical dilemmas (Figure 1) and “Cycle of reflection” (Figure 2) to consider BOTH the options presented in your selected scenario AND your own ethical preferences and reactions to what you’re reading. Be aware that the “cycle” (Figure 2) makes reference to use of an “analytic guide” as part of its steps (see “Follow Systematic Steps in the Decision-making Process/Select a Resolution”) – and that the “Framework to Analyze Ethical Dilemmas” (Figure 1) is intended to satisfy this function..

The paper should be structured to consist of an introduction, a conclusion, and five main sections identified by subheadings that match the stages of Mattison’s “Cycle of Reflection” (figure 2). The paper should be 5 – 7 pages in length excluding the title page and reference page. Students are required to use and cite a total of at least five scholarly sources – two of which can be assigned course readings. Students have discretion to determine where the course reading(s) are used. APA format should be utilized with regard to citations and references.


Content (25 pts): Assessed based on coverage of all aspects of the assignment, a clear description of the specific ways that ethical preferences and the Code’s “Ethical Principles” come into play in the scenario you’ve selected, clear use of and citing appropriate sections of the NASW Code of Ethics, and the integration of information from external sources to support the content of your writing.

Organization of an academic paper (10 pts): All paragraphs are centered on a single, clearly communicated main topic or theme, and are organized in a logical order. Effort to inform the reader what you are doing and how.

Editing and APA citation (5 pts): Proper in-text and reference section APA formatting is used including subheadings. The paper is free of grammatical errors and typos. Paper includes a minimum of 5 scholarly references (at least 3 external scholarly references and up to 2 assigned course readings).

Case Study #1

Andre has a request: more than anything, he wants a place to stay. He begs you not to send him “back outside” where he is completely vulnerable and alone. Homeless and living out of a sleeping bag under the freeway, Andre has a chronic mental health condition sometimes characterized by hallucinations. Andre has been admitted to the hospital, where he undergoes acute withdrawal from heroin and is found to have well-advanced cancer in his chest. He is only able to murmur and speak in brief, often confusing outbursts. He currently has the ability to make his own decisions (barely) and continues to request to access shelter or housing of some sort. Such a placement may well affect how long Andre lives. The consulting oncologist recommends against chemotherapy because of Andre’s inability to participate in weeks of treatment as an outpatient (without housing). Accordingly, the attending physician recommends making Andre a “DNR” (Do Not Resuscitate) due to concern it is not in his best interest to be kept alive (and in pain) should his heart suddenly stop. You find yourself conflicted because although Andre wants treatment and may qualify for housing, residential mental health treatment, or some other type of placement, his history of violence against women includes a lengthy incarceration following a brutal assault that left his victim severely injured years ago. Despite the fact that Andre is much weaker and frailer now, you know that disclosing his record during housing and service program applications will result in his disqualification. Do you disclose Andre’s history? Successfully placing Andre may save hundreds of thousands of dollars in health care resources by stabilizing his situation, as well as dramatically improving his remaining quality of life. You begin losing sleep while you struggle with whether or not to lie.

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