You are free to send suggestions of topics that you would be interested in discussing in the ethics forum. For example, you could pose a question about topics such as following. (Do not feel at all restricted by this list. These are just a few suggestions to get things rolling):

  • The ethical implications of a client or patient asking for help with assisted suicide.
  •  Balancing the need for personal safety as a practitioner with the needs of clients/patients.
  • Circumventing the system to provide needs for one client/patient that inadvertently leave macro problems unchallenged.
  • Balancing resource inadequacies with patient/client need.
  • Managing the ethical complexities of a condition such as Munchausen by Proxy or Fictitious Disorder by Proxy.
  • Dealing with the ethical complications of patient/client addiction to pain medications in the case of chronic unrelenting painful medical conditions.
  • Complexities of confidentiality.
  • Boundary issues in enclosed environments such as on Native reserves or in rural settings.

You may also send your own case examples to Dr. Weinberg via her email address: ethicshp@dal.ca for possible inclusion on this forum. If accepted for use on this site, the same terms apply as outlined in the registration policy. Feel free to use a pseudonym when registering for the site to protect your anonymity. Rest assured that if you do send an email with your own name, Dr. Weinberg will keep that totally confidential. All sign-up information will also be confidential. However, if we do use one of your case examples and you would like to be named as the author, please indicate that clearly in your email and we will attribute the example to you. Sarah Banks, a well-respected ethicist in the social sciences, has provided some guidelines for writing up cases. With a couple of modifications, here is her checklist:

  • Does the case have a clear description of the situation?
  • Does the case give the reader sufficient information to make it interesting and comprehensible, but not so many details as to confuse the reader?
  • Does the case have a clear story-line (a ‘main thread’)?
  • Does the case have the potential to generate discussion (does it raise challenging ethical questions)?
  • Have the details of the case (such as the names of people, places and other possible distinguishing information) been altered to ensure the anonymity of those involved – without altering the essential meanings?

In Dr. Weinberg’s examples of cases that will be on the forum, quotes will be used from the research transcripts. However, she is aware that if you submit a case, the material will most likely be more ‘distant’ since you will probably be recalling a situation for which there is no direct data. That is a perfectly acceptable style for writing up a case.

For an example of a case, please go to Forum and see Case 1.