Elements of and Distinctions Between Ethics and the Law.

From these truths are based many civil and criminal laws. For instance, the law on not causing physical harm or injury to another is based on the principle of nonmaleficence. Confidentiality of information is an expression of fidelity.

The ethics-law relationship can be exemplified by the confidentiality rule in counseling relationship.

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The counselor has to respect all the private information that he or she has obtained from the client. But in the case of a dying client who expressed the intention of hastening one’s death, the counselor may break the confidentiality rule after determining the propriety of such act, and as allowed by law and particular circumstances (ACA Code, 2005). The counselor may also break confidentiality if the client has a life-threatening or contagious disease after verification and due consideration of the situation (ACA Code, 2005).

At present, the law prescribes a mode of conduct and professional practice for counselors. The code of ethics of counseling organizations mandate that members should conduct one’s practice in accordance with law (ACA Code, 2005). thus, indicating the relationship between law and ethics.

Ethical concerns often affect counselors in making decisions (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1996). Counselors also face an ethical dilemma when deciding which action to take (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1996). Thus, counseling organizations, such as the American Counseling Association (ACA) issue ethics manual to serve as guide of its members and other professional counselors in deciding the proper action to take when faced with a difficult issue (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1996). In the same manner, the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors (IAMFC) also enjoins its members to promote “healthy growth and development of the family

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