Potential Breach Of Ethics Essay


Discuss about the values of ethics in terms of Social Research and Practice.


The ethics form an integral part of the system as it includes serious morals that need to be addressed while performing a duty in a profession (Bond, 2015). The ethics play a major role in order to understand the proper responsibility of the job role, the most important consideration that is being undertaken by the people are based on the ethics that governs over the actions undertaken by them. The ethics that are related to a profession helps in determining the moral issues that are being faced by the profession and thereby helps in avoiding the circumstances (Feltham, Hanley & Winter, 2017).

This essay deals with a case study as well as its relevance to the codes of ethics in terms of practice while conducting any social research. This essay critically also reviews the potential breach of ethics in terms of the relevancy with the professional codes of ethics, policies or the legislation.

The purposes of this essay it to help understand the values of ethics in terms of social research and practice. This essay also helps understand the potential breach of ethics with relevance to the ethical guidelines of social research.

The ethical point of view that is being addressed in this discussion adheres to the first case study and therefore helps in solving the dilemma of the ethics that are being connected with the profession (Parker, 2013). The value of the ethics that are being administered in the profession of a counselor is a vital factor that needs to be obliged since the counselor works upon the perception and mental cognition of the people. The researcher or the counselor must adhere to the ethics in order to utilize of the probable steps that helps in undertaking the sessions effectively (Johnson et al., 2012). The significant factor that should to be obliged by the researcher is based on the ethics, which helps in determining the type of counseling required by the client. It helps in determining the requirement of the clients based on the conditions faced by the client and the challenges faced by the counselor in making the crucial contemplation (Loewenthal & Samuels, 2014).

With reference to the first case study, the critical factor that is taken into account by the counselor, Hannah, in making use of the information of the clients without their consent is an ethical issue based on the principles of the profession. The ethics that determine the information that is being utilized by the counselor, based on the requirements of the research, faces an issue based on the unethical considerations (McLeod, 2014).

Assuming the fact that Hannah wanted to only study the effects of the therapist’s reinforcements of the statements by the clients during the counseling session, if the clients were informed in prior about the activities and the performance of the clients, there was a sure possibility of the results being biased. This can be assumed to be acted upon by the clients under the social consciousness. Henceforth the methods that needed Hannah to work under incognito, even though the method and the purpose was highly influential and justified, yet the manner to derived the data and the results was executed by unethical measures (Proctor, 2014).

Under the circumstantial evidence, Hannah was performing the act under the perception that the results might be derived on an unbiased notion. This can be believed, under the impression that the clients were completely unaware of being under surveillance and observation. Since the analysis, was necessary to help in the improvising of the counseling methods the complete investigation was needed to be done under the unawareness of the clients. Even though the motive of such secrecy was completely justified to avert and avoid any risk of obtaining manipulated data, yet the method was a breach of ethics to some extent (Proctor, 2014).

As classified under the guidelines of the ethical guidelines in social research as informed by National Health and Medical Research Council, the act of observing the clients unnoticed and uniformed curtained breached some of the ethical guideline, in pretext of the client’s non-participation. As cited, the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Research Involving Human certainly offered some of the ethical guidelines are an authoritative statement on the health research that involves the Aboriginals and Torres Strait islander people (Tribe & Morrissey, 2015). The national statement sets out its basic principles and guidelines in terms of people on mental or intellectual grounds that are derived from under National and Medical Research Council Act 1992. The principle breaches of ethical conducts that can be concluded from this case study are notified under section 3 (chapter 3.3) and section 5(Chapter 5.5), which mainly involves with the intervention and the therapies including the clinical and non-clinical trials and innovations as well as monitoring of approved research. Another most significant breach of the ethics is based on the Right to Information Act, which helps the clients to receive the information about the proceedings of the sessions (Tribe & Morrissey, 2015).

Based on the principles as vested under the National and Medical Research Council Act, 1992, section 3 defines about the monitoring of the clinical research, which is coherent and related with section 5, that defines that the researcher must be aware of the ethical values and comprehend to the research in written. This act also implies the researcher to comply with the participant’s interest. Although in the case study, none of the mentioned guidelines was present. The second ethical guideline of Right to information Act was also breached since Hannah did not inform the clients about the observation which she was implying on the clients without their approval, knowledge as well as awareness. This was a absolute breach of ethical values in terms of the ethical values as allotted under the Acts (Tribe & Morrissey, 2015).

With the help of the essay and under circumstantial evidence, it can be concluded that Hannah performed certain actions that was utmost important to understand, analyze and study the client’s behavior for improvising in the counseling process. Although the principle motive was of utmost significance to keep a track of the client’s performance and the counseling process, yet to accomplish such the breaching of the ethical values was a sheer act of negligence. On a personal note, even though the voyeuristic process of observing the clients had a better motive, breaching of the ethical values was a not so smart move could possibly invite legal intervention due to the breach of values in terms of ethics. This could also result in the revoking of the counseling practitioner’s license, if the act was caught and subjected to penalization.


Bond, T. (2015). Standards and ethics for counselling in action. Sage.

Feltham, C., Hanley, T., & Winter, L. A. (Eds.). (2017). The SAGE handbook of counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Johnson, W. B., Barnett, J. E., Elman, N. S., Forrest, L., & Kaslow, N. J. (2012). The competent community: toward a vital reformulation of professional ethics. American Psychologist, 67(7), 557.

Loewenthal, D., & Samuels, A. (Eds.). (2014). Relational psychotherapy, psychoanalysis and counselling: Appraisals and reappraisals. Routledge.

McLeod, J. (2014). Doing research in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Parker, M. (Ed.). (2013). Ethics and community in the health care professions. Routledge.

Proctor, G. M. (2014). Values and ethics in counselling and psychotherapy. Sage.

Tribe, R., & Morrissey, J. (Eds.). (2015). Handbook of professional and ethical practice for psychologists, counsellors and psychotherapists. Routledge.

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