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Ethical Principles in Behavioral Health Practice             

Ethical Principles in Behavioral Health Practice             

Sample Answer 

Ethical Principles in Behavioral Health Practice

Ethical dilemmas are prevalent in healthcare practice. Case managers have to ask tough questions, use the available resources, and make decisions that affect patients and their loved ones. Complying with ethical principles is essential since healthcare impacts the lives of people, their families, and even our reputations (Scott, 2017). The ethical principles include autonomy, fidelity, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, and honesty. Autonomy gives the client the right to make an informed decision; fidelity ensures loyalty to the client; beneficence puts the client’s best interest a priority; nonmaleficence is the ‘Do No Harm’ principle, justice involves equity and fairness in treatment, and honesty is the principle of revealing all information to the patient

Case study 1

Respect for autonomy requires the case manager to tell the patient the truth concerning their illness and inform him/her about the risks and benefits of therapy to allow them to make informed decisions. I will inform this patient of the benefits and risks of the treatment  I will select to make an informed decision if he wants to take the treatment. I will offer him resources and recommend a support group to help him treat his depression and eating disorders. Fidelity is all about loyalty. It describes the special relationship that develops between patients and their healthcare givers. I will promise the patient that I will guide him and be with him throughout the treatment and be ready to answer any questions he needs

.A beneficent case manager provides health care while having the patient’s best interest at heart. I will use evidence-based literature and resources to treat this patient to give him the best outcome. Nonmaleficence is the ‘Do No Harm’ principle. Case managers must ask themselves if their decisions will harm the client by commission or omission. In treating this patient, I will critically evaluate my decisions to ensure that my treatment option does not have serious side effects. Justice involves equity and fairness in treatment. I will treat this patient with fairness.

My treatment option will be quality regardless of his gender, age, culture, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Honesty is the principle of revealing all information to the patient. During this treatment, I will reveal all information concerning treatment to this patient to enable him to make decisions. In this case, the most sensitive ethical principles are autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. Applying these ethical principles will give the case manager dignity and prioritize the patient’s well-being.

Case 2

My client has physically abused his son. I am ethically and legally obligated to report this matter to child protection services. Even though I am very fond of this patient and understand his situation and frustrations, I have no option but to report her to child protection services. I will rest easy knowing that I am securing her son’s safety. Protecting all clients’ rights, integrity, and well-being is the primary role of a case manager, but in some cases, the case manager has to breach confidentiality if the patient is putting themselves or other people in danger (APA, 2020). To ensure that the principles of autonomy, fidelity, beneficence, maleficence, justice, and honesty are met, a case manager has to have full honesty with the client on available options in case the abuse occurs again in the future.

The case manager has to provide the patient with resources such as support groups and ways of sorting out her financial issues to help lessen their stress. The principles of beneficence, maleficence, and autonomy to choose to take these services will apply here. Even though the case manager might be irritated by the child abuse, he has to treat the client with dignity and respect to ensure the principle of fidelity. Honesty and justice principle have to be applied by telling the client the consequences of abusing her child.

A case manager’s ethical principles must be sensitive to beneficence, maleficence, justice, and fidelity. The client may be feeling bad and judged due to her actions. The case manager has to ensure that the client understands that the client’s and her child’s well-being are being considered. Suppose the patient decided to take these services. In that case, confidentiality must be safeguarded to ensure that the client does not stop attending the support groups that may put the client and child at risk in the foreseeable future.


American Psychological Association. (2020). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. American Psychological Association. Retrieved from

Scott, P. A. (2017). Key concepts and issues in nursing ethics. Springer.


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Ethical Principles in Behavioral Health Practice

Write a 500-750-word paper in which you discuss how you apply the basic ethical principles in behavioral health practice of autonomy, fidelity, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, and honesty as they relate to the following cases.

Case 1: A client with depression who has been seeing a therapist for a year has begun to get more depressed and has recently revealed an eating disorder that has been untreated for many years. This client is seeing you for case management services. In your capacity as a case manager, how can you ensure you are meeting the basic ethical principles listed above? Apply each of the principles to different aspects of the case you would reasonably expect to encounter.

Case 2: You have discovered that a client you have come to know and like has recently abused her son. This client has many stressors in her life including an unsupportive ex-husband who is not paying child support, does not visit his son, and a job that does not pay enough. These stressors are causing financial stress and little support for the client. She is a good mother other than this incident and you would hate to see her son taken from her. In light of this case, what are you ethically and legally obligated to do? How would you work through your own conflicts in this case? How would your actions in whatever you identify them to be apply to the basic ethical principles listed (autonomy, fidelity, beneficence, nonmaleficence, justice, and honesty)?

In addition, be sure to address the following in your paper:

Ethical Principles in Behavioral Health Practice

Ethical Principles in Behavioral Health Practice

  1. What ethical principles must a case manager be most sensitive about to avoid violating in each case?
  2. Why is it especially important to safeguard certain ethical principles in each case?

A minimum of two scholarly sources should be included in the paper.

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