Critical and Radical Social Work
An international journal

Self-determination and safety: an ethical crossroad

Author: Widian Nicola1
View author details View Less
  • 1 Seton Hall University, , USA
Restricted access
Get eTOC alerts
Rights and permissions Cite this article

Self-determination is a pathway by which individuals can safeguard as well as define their sense of safety. However, when an individual’s sense of safety is placed at risk, particularly within the context of community, safety can become illusive. Due to safety’s subjective nature, social workers and healthcare providers are invited to examine closely the roles they play to uphold a client’s self-determination, as well as manage risk as instruments of the healthcare programmes we represent, within the context of community and amid our clients’ challenging and oftentimes complex life circumstances. These ethical junctures offer practitioners an opportunity to examine how personal and collective ethical decisions are made, particularly through the lens of the ethics of care, which aims to place relationality at the forefront of the decision-making process. This clinical ethnographic narrative examines several ethical junctures I faced as the social worker to an elderly client diagnosed with schizophrenia.

  • Ainsworth, M., Salter, D. et al  (2014 [1978]) Patterns of Attachment: A Psychological Study of the Strange Situation, New York, NY: Psychology. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Burns-Lynch, W., Salzer, M. and Baron, R.C. (2010) Managing risk in community integration: promoting the dignity of risk and supporting personal choice, Temple University Collaborative on Community Inclusion of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities, Philadelphia, PA, Available at: www.tucollaborative.org

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Cook, J.A. and Jonikas, J.A. (2002) Self-determination among mental health consumers/survivors: using lessons from the past to guide the future, Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 13(2): 8795. doi: 10.1177/10442073020130020401

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (2000a) The darker and brighter sides of human existence: basic psychological needs and a unifying concept, Psychological Inquiry, 11(4): 31938. 

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M. (2000b) The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of goal pursuits: human needs and the self-determination of behavior, Psychological Inquiry, 11(4): 22768.  doi: 10.1207/S15327965PLI1104_01

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Deci, E.L. and Vansteenkiste, M. (2004) Self-determination theory and basic need satisfaction: understanding human development in positive psychology, Ricerche di Psicohologia, 1(27): 2340.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Dubin, R.D. and Fink, P.J. (1992) Effects of stigma on psychiatric treatment, in P.J. Fink and A. Tasman (eds) Stigma and Mental Illness, Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Gray, M. (2010) Moral sources and emergent ethical theories in social work, British Journal of Social Work, 40: 1794811. doi: 10.1093/bjsw/bcp104

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Held, V. (2006) The Ethics of Care, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

  • Jurecic, A. (2012) Illness as Narrative, Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press.

  • Kasser, V.G. and Ryan, R.M. (1999) The relation of psychological needs for autonomy and relatedness to vitality, well-being, and mortality in a nursing home, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29(5): 93554. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1999.tb00133.x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Longhofer, J., Kubek, P.M. and Floersch, J. (2010) On Being and Having a Case Manager: A Relational Approach to Recovery in Mental Health, New York, NY: Columbia University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Macioce, F. (2012) What can we do? A philosophical analysis on rights and self-determination, Universidad del Norte, Journal of Philosophy, 6: 10029.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Mellor, P. and Shilling, C. (1993) Modernity, self-identity and the sequestration of death, Sociology, 27(3): 41131.  doi: 10.1177/0038038593027003005

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Noddings, N. (2012) The language of care ethics, Knowledge Quest, 40(4): 526.

  • Radden, L. (2011) On Delusion, New York, NY: Routledge.

  • Reamer, F. (2014) The evolution of social work ethics: bearing witness, Advances in Social Work, 1: 16381.

  • Rothman, J. (1989) Client self-determination: untangling the knot, Social Service Review, 63(4): 598612. doi: 10.1086/603729

  • Sass, L. and Pienkos, E. (2013) Delusions: the phenomenological approach, in W. Fulford, M. Davies, G. Graham, J. Sadler and G. Stanghellini (eds) Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Psychiatry, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Steinbock, B., London, A.J. and Arras, J. (2013) Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine: Contemporary Readings in Bioethics, 8th edn, New York, NY: McGraw Hill Press.s

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thompson, F. (2002) Moving from codes of ethics to ethical relationships for midwifery practice, Nursing Ethics, 9(5): 52236.  doi: 10.1191/0969733002ne542oa

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wehmeyer, M. (2004) Beyond self-determination: causal agency theory, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, 16(4): 33759. doi: 10.1007/s10882-004-0691-x

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wehmeyer, M. (2005) Self-determination and individuals with severe disabilities: re-examining meanings and misinterpretations, Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 30(3): 11320. doi: 10.2511/rpsd.30.3.113

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Woods, A. (2014) Lecture: ‘Narrative and Psychosis’, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

  • 1 Seton Hall University, , USA

Content Metrics

May 2022 onwards Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 71 71 66
Full Text Views 30 30 2
PDF Downloads 33 33 4

Altmetrics

Dimensions