Sometimes, clients need a type of assistance that conflicts with a social worker’s personal moral beliefs. A pregnant client, for example, may ask her anti-abortion social worker for help obtaining an abortion. Social workers may feel torn between providing a type of service requested and maintaining a positive relationship with the client. They may want to encourage the client to choose another alternative. However, they must ultimately follow the NASW policy statement, Family Planning and Reproductive Health , which states support for clients to make their own decisions about sexuality and reproduction.
This case deals with the ethical dilemma I am facing at my current workplace. My work life and personal life are out of balance resulting in high stress. Apart from sharing time between work and family, I try to squeeze in time for completing coursework for the business classes I take each semester. Due to severe time restraints, sometimes I end up having to finish my homework during office hours using company time. This unethical behavior on my part has brought me into a conflict with the workplace ethics stipulated by the university. Ethical decisions in the workplace can be very difficult to make depending on the situation. Sometimes we must rely on our personal ethics and what is in the best interest of the group or of the individual. I am slowly developing this habit for distorted thinking. I am in conflict with my inner conscience but my situational context is forcing me to violate my own ethical values. I fall victim to the temptations and pressures of situations.
As we sat in his office, we had to take our principal’s earlier discussion about moral dilemmas and apply it to an actual situation. If there is one thing in life I value most it is honesty. Each person has the responsibility to approach the many challenges he or she encounters with integrity—and just as important, each person has choice. My friend who had plagiarized was cheating her classmates, herself, and our school. And she was unwilling to listen to any of us, knowing that her grade would affect ours. So we made the difficult decision.