1.     Introduction

Ethics can be defined as a part of philosophy including defending, recommending and systematizing the concept of wrong and right possibilities.  Values of ethics are crucial in terms of being honest, ethical and fair for the organization in which an employee worked for or it works in an organization in previous years, not in the current position. Ethical dilemmas in a maximum number of cases are significant for professional life. Professional organizations and companies include their ethical standards in the workplace and employees are required to follow it otherwise they companies can take decisions against them. An ethical dilemma is considered as a problem of decision making between two persons in the fact what they should prefer for a better future.

An ethical dilemma can be of several types that include offers comes from a client to a clinician according to this case study. It can be taken credits that have been done by another employee. Propose a worse product to a client for achieving its own benefits is also included under the concept of an ethical dilemma. In some professional organization ethical dilemma includes relation with business partners, management, clients and co-workers. In this assignment, analysis of the case study and based on the case study a conclusion has been made.

2. Analysis of Case Study

Jessica P. is considered as a licensed psychologist or clinician as per the scenario. Edward.G is a former client of counselor Jessica B. Ten (10) years before from now Jessica had worked for the company of the client as a counselor. In an employee assistance program that had been offered by the organization of the client, she had worked before ten (10) years. Jessica provides short term counseling to employees of the organization of Edward. She also used to take confidential assessments and voluntary programs as per the requirement of the company as well as its client. Based on the conditions of employees Jessica used to take decision she has to follow up on the process or not. Some employees had work-related problems and personal problems, via confidential assessment results or being a psychologist she was able to know any issues of employees. Then Jessica exceeds the time of the counseling taking into concern the matter of the management of the organization and client as well as the decision of management. At a party that was held at night, Jessica meets her client Edward G. Public nature of the party in such a way that Jessica does not have the freedom to inform Edward about the previous relationship as client and counselor. At the session time before ten years, the client said Jessica that he was seeking help due to the death of his father.

As per the scenario, Edward asked for help to come out of the distress regarding his death of the father. In the single session, the client has mentioned he had a relationship with a counselor when he was 15 years old.  According to the opinion of Edward, the counselor has solved a maximum number of emotional issues in his personal life. Party is going to be over, at that time Edward asks Jessica that she would like to go out for a date with him or not. Jessica has to say yes or no based on her ethics. They do not have any contact after the contract finishes with the company of Edward. Therefore, there is no ethical dilemma of the workplace that can take place while Jessica about to take any decision about the date.

3. Principles related to ethics in counseling

In counseling five principles of ethics mainly used that include confidentiality and truthfulness, informed consent, autonomy, beneficence and nonmaleficence, and justice.

Confidentiality and truthfulness

The principle of truthfulness is about to say the truth of the life of a person to someone who has the right to know about the reality of the person. As per the view of Allen (2016), the concept of truthfulness is said about not to lie to anyone who knows you personally. Suppose, in the area of a community of one people HIV tests have been taken by a doctor or other people. Then, after receiving the result of the test if the person or doctor asks the people to say about the result. He should say the result to that person instead of the result is not good to hear by the doctor the person. It entails that professionally an employee when provides a brief description of any certain incident to his or her co-worker or to the manager. Then the employee should give the answer or should ready an answer if its co-worker asked about the next step of the incident. That employee then would be considered as a truthful person towards its organization as well as its co-worker.

Confidentiality is defined as the principle where people can keep secret of his or her knowledge or information to a person (Aznar et al. 2019). A person has its own right and commitment that it has the capability to conceal its information from others. Suppose, an HIV test held by a doctor and then after some weeks result is known to the doctor and family of the person wants to know about the result. The doctor then should take permission from the person that it can tell the result to the family of the person. The doctor should keep the information confidential instead of its client gives permission to declare the information to its family that is the rule of confidentiality in counseling. Taking into consideration the workplace relation if an employee has information about the relationship of any co-worker. Now, a family person of the co-worker if asked about any office information related to a relationship then the employee should keep it confidential. It will be against the rule of confidentiality if it tells about any secret information to the family person of the co-worker.

Secrets are of three types, that the professional responsibilities of keeping a secret that can be harmful to others are the following:

  • Natural Secret: As stated by Balcom et al. (2016), Revealed information may be harmful to the nature of the environment.
  • Promised Secret: Any information that has been promised between two persons and then revealed by one person. It can lead to mistrust of those employees in the public sector.
  • Secret in the profession: Professional secret is considered as the crucial secret because it can violation of information can cause larger harm. Any information if revealed to someone then it can be harmful to the profession, client and as well as to community that gains services from that profession.

Informed consent

Informed consent in counseling is referred to as the process that will be taken by a counselor to resolve problems of an employee in the workplace and also in personal life. It can be the process of beginning therapy of a patient in which a doctor is required to tell about the process of that therapy. The requirement and other things related to therapy are needed to reveal to the client (Chiasson et al. 2017). Suppose a mother has come to the hospital with its child for immunization then doctor has to tell the benefits of getting immunized. Apart from that doctor also needs to reveal the effect of the injection on a child’s body.


Automation is the ethical principle that is referred to each individual about their self-right, self-determination, freedom, and independence to make their choice of own. In the concern of a counselor of an organization for the employee assistance program, a counselor should give freedom to those employees who took part in the assistance program. That employees can make their own choice about their health and work-place related problems. Not all the time counselor is able to understand the problems related to their office work. As per the view of Cherry, McGrath & Baumann (2018), the counselor can have less knowledge than an employee in terms of any specific work to make a decision. Hence, in this situation, an employee is ideal to make decisions for their big project that supports the organizational ethical values.

Beneficence and nonmaleficence

As per the view of Chiasson et al. (2017), the term beneficence is said about the concept of doing anything good for the benefit of its clients. A clinician or a doctor should help a patient by providing immunization at proper time and proper age of the children. The patient and doctor can befriend, in that case, the doctor is able to resolve any problem in the daily life of the patient.

Nonmaleficence is the term referred to as do not harm to any clients by intention or not intention. A client if getting affected by any decision makes by a doctor then doctor should not take that decision. Taking for example, a doctor has planned for taking control of birth in a locality where women need it. The community, belief in culture and available amount of resources in that locality may limit the doctor in order to make a further step. Hence, a doctor is not always able to remove harm from its patients, doctor sometimes required to tell the truth about any disease. The disease can spread from one patient to the other one in that locality.


Justice is referred to as the term to be fair, impartial and equal to all people, known as the complex principle of ethics. It is the responsibility of a doctor or clinician to be fair in all circumstances to all people. As per the statement of Gonzalez, Barden, & Sharp (2017), justice has two categories distributive justice and social justice.

Distributive Justice: In terms of this justice every single person has the own right to expect proper behavior regardless of their culture, age, gender, color, ethnic group, and marital status. Economic level, religion, political beliefs, and social standing are not should be considered on distributive justice (Kurt &Tunca, 2016). Distributive justice entails that everyone in the earth is required to be treated in the same process or way.

Social Justice: Social justice is referred to as the application on rights for equality that provides access to all services and products given in their locality (Shang, 2015).  All people should possess to participate in every activity that can improve their health. A clinician has the responsibility to go forward with both social and distributive justice that can empower the lives of the people in the locality.

4. Is it ethical for Jessica to accept a date with a former client?

Jessica can accept the date with its former client Edward as she is now not a part of the organization of the client. Therefore, no ethical dilemma related to the place of work lies in this situation. Jessica works before 10 years with the client’s company in an employee assistance program as a clinician. Based on the principle autonomy Jessica has the freedom to say “yes” or “no” that depends on its self – determination. Jessica can have any other person in her life in this situation she can say “no” to the client Edward. Edward can also have to self-right and demand when he asks for Jessica for a date. He can make a choice of dating place or he can give the responsibility to Jessica if she “yes” to him. About 10 years when two persons are without contact with each other, then to date with a former client will be uncomfortable for Jessica. They have to start the relationship fro beginning as maximum things will not be remembered by both of them. Justice can be the principle based on which Jessica has to behave fairly, equally and impartially. Although for doing fair to its former client, it is not needed to say yes to him for a date. Apart from that Jessica can do distributive justice over him without taking into a concern about other matters. On the other hand, Edward can again hire Jessica for the assistance program of the employee. They had good formal relationships in the previous ten years from the current situation.

According to the principle of beneficence, the clinician has the responsibility to do anything good for the benefit of the client. Edward might need any help from Jessica as she is a doctor. The distress of Edward related to any new issues is possible to resolve by Jessica. Therefore, discussion for some time will be beneficial for the clients. Edward can have any serious issues in his life he wants to get free with taking some matter with Jessica. Edward can also have any serious diseases on that topic also he wants to talk freely in some places with her. As being a doctor she can provide information and any therapy to Edward. In the current situation, Jessica is not a clinician of Edward’s company and Edward is not a client. Therefore, Jessica may avoid that she does not know Edward and instantly ignores his proposal. It is as per the minds of both what they want and how they represent themselves in front of each other. Jessica can think of Edward as a client in the present situation also, then as per the principle of nonmaleficence she has to say “yes”. Otherwise, the decision of Jessica can affect the emotion and desire of Edward.

5. Conclusion

It can be concluded that Jessica has to say yes in correspondence with the matter of her client and the principle of ethics in counseling. In order to do justice with its proper client as per the principle, she can say yes to him. In terms of the principle of autonomy, Jessica has its own right to take a decision for saying yes to the date. Edward has also the freedom to discuss his life problems or any disease to Jessica as she is a well-known doctor for him. It is based upon the matter of Jessica and Edward and the replies of Jessica towards its client Edward. Jessica if wants to make a relationship with Edward then she can yes or to be formal with its former client she can say yes as a doctor. Jessica has any other option in her life then she can ignore him at a glance. She can also avoid him if she does not want to go for a date in her current situation of life. It can also be the situation that Jessica waits for Edward for a long time and also waits for this proposal then she can say “yes” as a reply to Edward.

6. References

Allen, Jon G.Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic; New York Vol. 80, Iss. 1,  (Mar 2016): 1-29. DOI:101521bumc20168011.

Aznar, Justo, MD, PHDCuenca, Julio Tudela, PHARM, PHD.Ethics & Medicine; Highland Park Vol. 35, Iss. 3,  (Fall 2019): 161.

Balcom, Jessica RKotzer, Katrina EWaltman, Lindsey AKemppainen, Jennifer LThomas, Brittany C.Journal of Genetic Counseling; New York Vol. 25, Iss. 5,  (Oct 2016): 838-854. DOI:10.1007/s10897-016-9957-6.

Cherry, MichaelMcGrath, DianneBaumann, Chris.Australasian Accounting Business & Finance Journal; Wollongong Vol. 12, Iss. 1,  (2018): 3-32.

Chiasson, MichaelChu, Xiaoyan TonyBreaux, KevinGiambrone, Jeremy.Academy of Business Research Journal; Gulfport Vol. 3,  (2017): 64-74.

Gonzalez, JessicaBarden, Sejal MSharp, Julia.The Professional Counselor; Greensboro Vol. 8, Iss. 4,  (2018): 314-327. DOI:10.15241/jg.8.4.314.

Kurt, EnginTunca, Yusuf.Haseki Tip Bulteni; Istanbul Vol. 54, Iss. 2,  (Jun 2016). DOI:10.4274/haseki.2850.

Shang, Biwu.CLCWeb; Ashland Vol. 17, Iss. 5,  (Dec 2015). DOI:10.7771/1481-4374.2742.


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