Review and Critique of “Ethical Issues in the Social Worker’s Role in PAS (Ameda A. Manetta and Jancie G. Wells, 2001) Tracy S. Robinson September 2010 (Ameda A. Manetta and Jancie G. Wells, 2001). Ethical issues in the social worker’s role in pas. Health ;amp; Social Work/ Volume 26, pg 3 Introduction The author’s focus was on ethical issues in physician assisted suicide and the role it plays amongst social worker’s. The author’s presented results of an exploratory study of social workers views on physician assisted suicide (PAS).
In which social workers favored or not favor PAS and whether there is a difference in education or training on mental health issues, ethics, or suicide that may influenced their views as well. The involvement with PAS presents an ethical dilemma, which in this article refers to a situation in which social workers think they have no definitive guidelines for professional behavior. The article has current interest because it is important that social workers have been properly prepare and train to work with clients making end of life decision.
Summary of the author’s main points Purpose of the study. The purpose of the study was to determine social workers views on physician assisted suicide (PAS). The study involved participant from three separate workshops on suicide that were presented by the first author. The study subsamples sixty-six social workers. The social workers either had a South Carolina social work license or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. The participants recruitment where given a questionnaire that contained twenty-six questions, most of which required yes or no responses.
The study focus on how these different elements guide social workers in making ethical decisions regarding intervention with clients. There were areas in the articles that mention how social workers had difficulties in doing that. Summary of literature review as presented by the author. The study found that physician assisted suicide is one of the most frequently debated issues in American Society (Bachman et al.. , 1996; Foley, 1997). The study found that people are divide on the issues.
It has brought arguments about preservation of life, autonomy, and self-determination of individual. This gives ethical and moral complicity of end life decision making. The study found that most social worker agrees that PAS should be reserved for people who are dying from terminal illness. However the other percentage that opposes argue that underutilization of narcotics for pain control leaves terminally ill patient in pain during the end of life as well. The finding for the arguments had little research conducted on the etiology of actual cases of PAS.
Most of the available data is on suicide among individuals who acted alone. It has found that when people are experiencing personal difficulties or have lowered coping capacity, they are at risk of suicide. However terminally ill people are rarely suicidal, the author’s have shown studies that the main difference between terminally ill patient who become suicidal and those who don’t is the presence of clinical depression in the patients who are suicidal. Summary of ethical issues.
There are some ethical dilemmas that occur when there is a lack of knowledge about state and federal legislation governing practice are sufficiently prepared to work responsibly with clients and family considering PAS. Some ethical issues arise when the lack of knowledge may have produced biased thinking in social workers projecting what they want in a situation onto their clients or client’s family. The instruments. The researchers used a questionnaire as their instrument in the study. The survey instrument contained twenty-six questions.
The questions included demographic information on age, race, religion, and educational degree. Sampling techniques. There were a total of ninety-eight participants, including physician, psychologists, nurses, and social workers complete the questionnaire. The finding reported here based on a subsample of sixty-six social workers who either had a South Carolina social work license or a bachelor’s or master’s degree in social work. Methods of data analysis. The researchers used the statistical program for the Social Sciences (SPSS) to analyze the data.
Descriptive statistics were calculated on demographic information. A chi-square analysis was used to determine if there were any statistical relationships between social workers who agreed and those who disagreed with PAS by whether they had universal courses, additional training, and knowledge of the PAS law of South Carolina. Data collection techniques. Participant’s recruitment occurred at three separate workshops on suicide. As attendees enter the workshop a questionnaire was administrated to ninety-eight participants. Summary of study findings.
The author’s of this article had the following major findings: (a) that social workers in South Carolina are evenly divided about who supported PAS and who did not support it. (b) circumstances under PAS would be favored for reasons other than terminal illness, were two-thirds agreed with PAS if a person had terminal illness, compared with thirty-seven percentage. (c) majority of respondents stated that they had taken university courses or had additional training in the field of mental health, ethics and suicide. Relevance of the article to social work profession.
Resolving ethical problems. The authors suggest obtaining information from social worker who works with a broad spectrum of clients would help in formulating policy. Since PAS and legacy of PAS are applicable to all populations. The authors in the article also suggest that legislation should set up some type of ethical practice by requiring that social workers be licensed in one of the three levels. And social workers only should practice in areas in which they have expertise and license in. Benefits of the article to social workers.
The social workers may benefits from this article because it makes them more aware about PAS. It also benefits by informing social workers of the accountability of their action when assist clients and their families who request information about PAS. The article helps social workers want to get more inform about the policies related to PAS and how it would affect them has social workers. The article gave them a broader view of end of life decision from the narrow biomedical and single focus on self-determination to one that incorporates the core value of human rights. Critique and Personal Opinions.
Critique. The article was relevant to social work practice. The article focused on the issues that needed to be address toward social workers roles in PAS. The authors identify the ethical dilemmas that social workers have been avoiding conflicts in the view of PAS. The research that was conducted was limited due to the fact of its small sample size, but the results of it confirm the need for more extensive research in the area of social work with PAS. Personal opinions. In my opinion I would have liked for the study to have been broader in their selection of participants.
I think that there should have been a state wide study done. South Caroline shouldn’t have been the only sate involved in their study. I believe if they had more statistics it would have capture a broader view of what they were trying to get cross. I wonder if they had given the questionnaires at the end of the workshop they would have gotten a better response in data. Improving the study. In order to improve the study what would have been done differently? I think I would have included more workshops of suicide to pull more research from the study.
The study was conducted with limitations in it. Those limitations of study did affect the calculation and results of the study. I would have liked the authors to have gone farther into the dilemmas that social workers have with avoidance of conflict. Conclusion. The article included valuable but limited information. The authors of this wanted to focus on the ethical dilemma that surrounded social workers with (PAS). The authors study did point out issues that needed to be address to help social worker want to make better ethical decision when it comes to dealing with end of life decision.
This decision should be consistence with social worker values of protection of vulnerable populations in today’s society. The study also identifies the need for NASW to disseminate its professional policy statement to the profession and to broaden their views of end of life decision. I believe this is a great start that the authors brought forth in helping social workers down the path to end the ethical dilemma presented toward PAS.
References (Ameda A. Manetta and Jancie G. Wells, 2001)
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