Law And Ethics: The Dichotomy Of Ethics And Law

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Introduction There is a relationship between ethics and law. However, these two overlap in some cases where what is legal is unethical and whatever is deemed ethical is also illegal. They might not overlap in other situations but the contexts in which they are applied might rule out their legality or ethicality (Banks 2001). The complication in the dichotomy of human behavior in light of laws and ethics is due to legislations that contravene ethics and the inability for enforcers to have solutions that encompass the two. Social workers are often faced by the dilemma of choice with regard to laws and ethics. There are some situations in which striking a balance between observing the law, maintaining ethics and executing their mandate professionally…show more content…
The law in some instances actually mandates the ethicality of conduct. Such is evident in federal regulations, employment law and the codes of ethics. Despite this embodiment of ethical principles by the law, the two are not co-extensive. There are many unethical acts that are not prohibited by the law and vise versa. The choice of what is right or not is often left for personal discretion. There are a number of steps that are important in the establishment of best course of action in instances where a dilemma arises between ethics and law. The establishment of certain facts before making a decision is important for promotion of justice and equity in the society. Whereas these steps are not official, they serve as guiding principles of how o approach dilemma situations that are posed by overlapping principles in law and ethics. 1. Understand the Dilemma It is important to understand what offers justice in the situation through understanding the statement of the problem. It should establish the problem and its history as well as a possible course of action. Eagerness to create a solution should not rush this step. To come up with a feasible action plan depends on how well the ethical and legal issues involve are…show more content…
Social work ethics and professional conduct require that the social worker shows empathy for such cases to try and help the individual. However, Ken’s refusal to take his medication is in full will and given his status his decision is informed. Such negligence has resulted to abusive and unpredictable behavior that has shaped his historic 20 years of violence due to medication non-compliance. While ethics would require that such cases be handled using psychiatry, he is a threat to his family and as such, forced medication must be applied in accordance to the mental health act that provides that a person who is mentally ill or a danger to self and others may be subjected to involuntary commitment (Peay 1989). In ethics, this is against the personal rights to refuse psychiatric

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