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Jennifer Linville
Professional and Ethical Issues in Counseling


The ACA Code of Ethics declares six values

from which all ethics codes and regulations
are built.

nonmaleficence, beneficence, justice,

fidelity, veracity

When choosing a topic for this project, I knew

immediately that I wanted to search abortion.

to establish my own personal morals, but

because I know that I want to work with women
who have had or are walking through the decision
whether or not to terminate their pregnancies.

Introduction Continued

30% of women suffer from psychological

distress post pregnancy termination.
With over 42 million terminations each year,
there are at least 12,600,000 women that are
in need of counseling services.
Women will vary in age, and will include
What we will do when a client who is a minor
comes into our care?

Media Review

Pittsburgh, 1999

of teen daughter sue schools guidance

Guidance counselor proactively led student to
make decision as well as helped channel funds.
Guidance counselor went against state laws.
What should he have done according to the ACA?

ACA Values in context to issue

Autonomyfostering the right to control the

direction of ones life.

have the right to choose what outcome

they want. Counselors do not place their own
morals onto clients

Nonmaleficenceavoiding actions that cause


do harm to clients; clients need

support in this situation. Counselors provide a
safe place for client to work out this decision
A.4.a., A.6.b.

ACA Codes in context to issue


Beneficenceworking for the good of the

individual and society by promoting mental health
and well-being.

Counselors advocate for rights of and perform mental

health services for these women. Counselors do not
have to be pro-choice advocates, but must advocate
for this population (enough if this includes selfadvocacy)


Justicetreating individuals equitably and

fostering fairness and equality.

Counselors never judge; instead they see clients as

developing and growing and help clients foster that

ACA Codes in context to issue


Fidelityhonoring commitments and keeping


trust counselors to keep confidentiality,

even when client is minor (with few expressed
A.1.b., A.2.a., A.2.d.,

Veracitydealing truthfully with individuals

with whom counselors come into professional

client wants information to be released to

medical doctor, client can trust to the accuracy
and honesty of the counselors released

Case Study
A client (age 14) comes to you for services, and
discloses that she is pregnant and has not told any
family member, friends, or the male involved. She is
contemplating abortion. The client goes through with
the abortion, but does not disclose this information to
her parents. She continues services, but her parents
are upset that she should need for your services to
continue. What do you do?
I would not disclose the reasoning for her continued
need for services, but would perhaps revisit with the
client the importance of a support system, evaluating
with client if disclosing her secret to her parents is
important and beneficial.


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