Assignment: Clients’ Rights and Ethical Behavior

Counselors who work with children and adolescents often need to balance their clients’ or students’ rights, their own views of moral and ethical behavior, and the demands of ethical codes and state laws.

For each vignette below, list the questions and concerns that arise for you as you consider the potential legal and ethical issues, the client’s or student’s rights, and your own personal beliefs and values. Cite specific state laws and ethical codes to support your discussion.

  1. A 14-year-old boy describes himself as being gay and discloses he’s been sexually intimate with his 14-year-old friend LeRoy for the past three months. He is worried he may have a sexually transmitted disease. He wants your advice and support but does not want you to tell his parents.
  2. A 17-year-old girl reveals she is four months pregnant and is terrified to tell her parents or the father of the child; she believes they will force her to keep the baby. The girl admits she has already contacted a couple she found on the Internet to discuss placing the baby for adoption when it is born.
  3. A 16-year-old boy who has an underlying medical disorder that causes chronic pain reveals he has been able to receive “medical marijuana” from a friend’s uncle. He only smokes it occasionally and feels his pain has been significantly relieved.
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