Boundary Issues for Traumatologists

An ethical dilemma is a situation in which an individual cannot meet obligations to two different parties simultaneously (e.g., client/organization, self/client) without violating an ethical commitment to one or the other. As David Hardcastle and others have noted, ethical dilemmas occur when ethical guidelines do not give clear directions or indicate clearly which ethical imperative to follow. Dilemmas are often linked to specific sought-after outcomes and goals. Frank Loewenberg and Ralph Dolgoff suggest that ethical dilemmas need to be resolved by considering which decision produces the greatest good for the greatest number of persons, organizations, groups, families, or others. Trauma practitioners face many situations that have potential ethical principles embedded within them, including issues involving boundaries.

When faced with an ethical dilemma of any nature, it ...

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