Discussion: After reviewing the case below, take the Code of Ethics and make a decision as to whether you believe the actions the social worker took were justified. Where did you find the standards in the Code of Ethics that supported your decision? Explain your reasons and discuss what the best ethical course of action is.

Mr. P. is a 78-year-old man who has just been discharged from the hospital. He lives in an apartment by himself. His brother lives in his own apartment in the same building. You are a hospice social worker. It is Friday at 3:30 p.m. and you are visiting with Mr. P. to complete an initial psychosocial assessment. During your assessment, you conclude that it is not safe for Mr. P. to be by himself because he is unable to meet his own self-care needs. Since he appears very weak, it is very difficult for him to get out of bed on his own and he has no caregiver. You discuss your concerns with Mr. P. He appears alert and oriented to person, place, and time, and strongly declines any assistance. He states that he is not agreeable to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home. Even if Mr. P. agreed to some type of outside assistance, it would be impossible to have services in place in the next 2 days. You suggest to Mr. P. that maybe his brother could check in with him over the weekend, but Mr. P. insists that he will be fine by himself and requests that you not inform his brother. His sister, who lives out of state, will not be available to help for several days. Would you break confidentiality and ask his brother to check in on Mr. P. over the weekend?

Yes ______ No _______

 
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