Medical Ethics

How does the study of medical ethics impact decisions in social services & healthcare? In the peer-reviewed Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, Professor Paul Adams explains that social work ethics "…focuses on the behavior required or expected of members of a profession," and like ethical principles in the medical profession, there are "…rules, obligations, and dilemmas" to confront in social work (Adams, 2009, p. 83). By studying medical ethics -- standards that emphasize practitioner competence, client privacy, confidentiality, potential conflicts of interest, documentation and informed consent -- a social worker can get a strong grasp of the ethical considerations in the social services sector.

For example, in the "Patient's Bill of Rights," the healthcare patient has the right to informed consent, and so too do clients of social workers have the right to informed consent. The social worker's clients also have the right to privacy, confidentiality, practitioner...
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