Unfortunately, some women due to certain physiological conditions cannot give birth to their own off-spring. The desire for motherhood leads them to search for alternative solutions, and surrogacy presents itself as the most viable, though an obscure alternative. Unfortunately, system of surrogacy has given hope to many infertile couples, who long to have a child of their own.
As I walked through the halls, I tried to imagine what hospital-based social work was like when Ida Cannon was pioneering this specialty at Massachusetts General Hospital in the early 20th century. Once discharged to their homes, patients can wear monitors that feed important data wirelessly to healthcare professionals, and patients who find themselves in dire circumstances can summon emergency help by pushing a button that hangs around their necks.
Times have changed and at an exponential pace that many of us find difficult to grasp. Most of us can hardly imagine returning to the days before this technology existed, although we sometimes complain about the resulting demands on our lives.
Along with the spectacular and life-altering changes that have occurred with the advent of modern technology are a number of unique and unprecedented ethical challenges for social workers. The most glaring ethical implications concern issues of communication, service delivery, and healthcare.
Communication Perhaps the most obvious ethical issues involve confidentiality and privacy. Practitioners have long understood how privacy and confidentiality are essential ingredients in trusting relationships between social workers and clients.
Several technological innovations used widely by social workers pose unique threats to client privacy and confidentiality. Most social service agencies and independent practitioners now maintain computer-based client records for clinical or billing purposes.
Although firewalls and passwords provide considerable protection, these mechanisms are not infallible. Social workers in nearly every setting now use fax machines routinely in their communication with clients and other professionals.
How many social workers contact the receiving party to ensure that incoming faxes will be retrieved immediately and will not be available to unauthorized parties? I often remind audiences that sending a confidential document via fax is akin to sending a love letter on a postcard: Any curious individual who handles the missive can read its contents.
What steps do social workers take to ensure that sensitive documents are not faxed to the wrong party for example, as a result of a misdialed fax number? Similar breaches can occur with wireless telephones.
Some cellular telephones are susceptible to eavesdropping on inexpensive scanners. In one case a social worker intended to send a confidential message to a colleague about a mutual client.
Service Delivery With the advent of Internet communications has come a wide array of Web-based social services. Among them are clinical services offered by social workers and other mental health professionals who provide psychotherapy exclusively via e-mail communication.
Under this arrangement, the provider and client do not meet in person.
Rather, the social worker uses Internet communication to conduct an assessment and to provide clinical services. Pertinent ethical issues concern the adequacy of such computer-based services i. Key questions include the following: Do clients fully understand the nature of the clinical services they will be provided via the Internet, including their advantages e.
Do clients understand what other options may be available to them e. Do clients understand possible privacy and confidentiality risks? Have social workers taken reasonable steps to encrypt their communications and to ensure secure storage of electronic records?
Have social workers put in place adequate measures to ensure quality and respond to clinical emergencies? Noncomputer technologies also pose ethical challenges in the delivery of social services. For example, many social workers employed as parole officers are attaching electronic bracelets to clients to monitor their whereabouts in the community.
And for many years now, social workers have participated in programs that make extensive use of pharmacological technology i. Clearly, these and other forms of technology can be helpful and constructive; at the same time, their use forces us to think seriously about potential ethical trade-offs related primarily to privacy, exploitation, coercion, and civil liberties.
HealthCare Social workers in healthcare settings—hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, home healthcare programs, and nursing homes—have long understood the ethical implications of technology, mainly because the healthcare field has pioneered so many of the technological innovations that are part of professional practice.
For decades now, social workers involved in genetic counseling and reproductive health have faced difficult ethical issues concerning the use of technology for genetic selection and engineering, in vitro fertilization, surrogate motherhood, and abortion. Social workers in neonatal intensive care units have understood for years the ethical implications of decisions to use technology to sustain the lives of remarkably premature, low-birth weight, or otherwise impaired infants.
Most recently, a handful of social workers associated with healthcare programs involved in cloning and stem cell research have had to wrestle with a host of widely publicized and daunting bioethical issues.
In addition, social workers involved in organ transplantation programs at major medical centers participate in ethical decisions and debate concerning the allocation of scarce hearts, kidneys, and livers, as well as the selection of candidates for artificial organs.What distinguishes surrogacy from other reproductive technologies is not the technology itself but the circumstances of its application—an arrangement whereby one woman bears a child for another, with the intent of relinquishing the infant at birth.
Compared to the relatively institutionalized surrogacy contracts in the US and other locations, where embryo implantation attempts are agreed upon, contracts are backed by judicial laws, and the post-birth rights of the surrogate mother are delineated, surrogacy contracts in India are quite limited.
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Australian legal and non-legal measures, whilst somewhat limited and scarce, have been effective in dealing with surrogacy and birthing technologies. The multitude of state legislative reforms, have effectively accommodated the changing values of society, and have also clarified the uncertainty and conflict regarding this contemporary issue.
Legal Studies Family Essay Words | 6 Pages With respect to family, assess the ability of the legal system to respond to differing issues concerning values Family law is the most complex aspect of the Australian legal system as it is constantly under review and reform pursuing to adopt society’s continual change in values and principles.