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The presented case involves a highly sensitive area of social work. An infant was born with a variety of disorders that require expensive surgery, with a high chance of new disorders appearing in the future. The parents cannot pay for multiple surgeries and seek advice about what to do. This paper will provide an overview of this situation based on the ethical principles screen and advice that is based on it.
The ethical principles screen consists of seven principles. The first is dedicated to the protection of life. This is the highest principle, and therefore any recommendation would have to be considerate of the infant’s life. The second principle is equality and inequality, which states that access to the services and treatment, should be equal. The third principle is autonomy and freedom. It emphasizes the people’s right to choose the course of their life. The fourth principle promotes the idea that an ethical choice would bring the least amount of harm to the people.
Quality of life is the fifth principle, and it concerns the right to pursue the quality of life that people choose. The sixth principle is privacy and confidentiality which protects people’s private information from becoming public without consent. The final principle is truthfulness and full disclosure. It states that all the information provided to the client should be accurate and truthful (Corey, Corey, Corey, & Callanan, 2014).
I believe that the most important principles for this case are the preservation of life, least harm, and truthfulness. A social worker cannot make a choice for their client, but they are responsible for delivering enough accurate information so that the clients may make an informed decision. In this case, I would focus on providing all the possible information about the conditions that their child experiences. Since they are unable to pay for all the surgeries, I would recommend them to seek help from local and national charities that are focused on monetary help for infants born with disorders. CDC provides a list of organizations that are focused specifically on such cases (CDC, 2016).
To ensure the least amount of pain for the child, the parents should focus on addressing those disorders that bring the most immediate suffering. After they are able to receive help, they will address the rest of the issues. It will not be an easy process but it would be important to make sure that the child is treated properly, and while the chance of complete recovery is close to zero, they may still mitigate the issues enough to ensure a stable life for the child.
Despite the focus on a selection of principles, others are still preserved. The final word would still be with the parents, and their story will be kept private unless they decide to share it publicly. The surgery process will affect their quality of life, but it would have to be a consensual effect. Unfortunately, their socioeconomic condition prevents them from receiving full treatment, but perhaps with the help of the previously mentioned charitable organizations, the parents will be able to receive the help they require.
This is a very sensitive situation. My responsibility as a social worker is in providing ethical recommendations to my clients. The parents, in this case, have a possible solution to at least part of their problems due to the existence of charities. However, the final decision is always on them.
Corey, G., Corey, M. S., Corey, C., & Callanan, P. (2014). Issues and ethics in the helping professions with 2014 ACA codes. Boston, MS: Cengage Learning.
CDC. (2016). Finding Support. Web.