An Ethical Dilemma
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An Ethical Dilemma

In this discussion, imagine this scenario in your present internship setting: You have a 16-year-old client, Jim, whom you have seen several times in a counseling setting. Jim has talked to you about difficulties he has had with his parents, noting that they drink alcohol excessively and that he often must take care of himself. The appropriate child protective agency has already been involved in his family and has chosen not to remove Jim from his home due to his age and the fact that he has a part-time job and also drives his own car.  Jim comes to your office 15 minutes after his scheduled late afternoon appointment, your last appointment for the day, stating “Sorry I’m late, I was talking to my friends and I lost track of time.” You observe that Jim’s gait is not smooth and steady and that he smells of alcohol when he comes and sits down for his session.  As the session progresses, you note that Jim appears to be extremely inebriated. He has difficulty staying on one topic, loses his train of thought, slurs his words, and laughs inappropriately. When you ask him about this directly, he tells you that he ditched his gym class to hang out with friends and had just one beer and he says he feels fine. However, your own observations lead you to believe that there was significantly more drinking involved.  He states at the end of the session that he plans to drive to work. You are very concerned about him being on the road and let him know that you do not want him driving. You try to contact his parents, much to Jim’s protest, because you consider this to be an emergency. You cannot reach them immediately by phone. He insists that he is fine and that he is ready to go, stating that if he does not get to work now, he will be fired and he is not going to let you stop him from doing this.  

For your initial post, describe what you will do now. Describe your plan of action in terms of the next steps you will take with Jim. Refer to the specific ethical codes of your professional organization (American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, or American School Counselor Association) as well as the specific laws of your state. Be sure to include at least three references from books or professional articles in the current counseling literature to support your ideas. This post needs to be at least 250 words supported with at least 4 references.

 

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