Ethical Conflict - Coming Up Against the Law | INFJ Forum

Ethical Conflict - Coming Up Against the Law

Discussion in 'Philosophy and Religion' started by Kgal, Feb 3, 2013.

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  1. Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    I am up against an ethical quandary and I have need to talk this out…

    I started a new job in January and recently attended training on TX child abuse laws and reporting procedures.

    This is what I learned:

    If a young person tells me they are engaging in sexual intimacy with a person of their same gender - AND - they are under the age of 17 - I have to report this to the department of state health services and the TX child protective services.

    What the fuck???!!! I am adamantly opposed to such reporting procedures.

    If a young person is 13 - and married - I don’t have to report it. If the young people are having sexual intimacy with any number of others - as long as there is not a 3 year age difference - and not the same gender - I don’t have to report that!


    But let it be a situation of a couple of teenagers of the same gender enjoying each others company by engaging in sexual intimacy…..by law I have to tell someone who will step in and “investigate”.


    This is outrageous. This is a barbaric attitude. This is oppression of LGBT young people. This is judgmental. This is ….just….blankety blank blank insert your best string of curse words here….mother fucking bull shit!

    [fumes]

    What do I do if I don't report it and someone finds out and "reports" me? I could lose my license. I could lose my standing in this state.

    otoh...Doctor's don't have to perform any medical procedures/methods that conflict with their conscience.

    I am pissed!
     
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  2. Tin Man

    Tin Man "a respectable amount of screaming"

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    Yes, Texas is pretty low on the list when it comes to tolerance. While I can understand your frustration, the solution seems easy. Before meeting a new client, tell them that any mention of an under age same sex relationship will have to be reported. It'll probably have an impact on the children see you, but it's better than being put in an impossible situation.

    Can people marry at thirteen in Texas?
     
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  3. OP
    Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    Yes they can with their parent's permission.

    See...that's the problem. If they know of the law - they can't/won't talk to me about what is probably one of the most important aspect of their life.

    That totally defeats the purpose of me being with them.
     
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  4. SealHammer

    SealHammer Flying Quesadilla

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    Either find a very roundabout way to address such issues, such that you are legally protected but can still help the kid(s), or straight-up break the law in order to do the right thing.
    It's probably going to be a tremendous pain in the ass no matter how you slice it. It might be a good idea to consult a lawyer or two and see if termination under those terms is something you could hypothetically fight in court, before you actually become embroiled in anything serious.

    e: I don't have the same life experience as you, so I'm likely to sound a bit naive, but if I were in your position, I'd probably just ignore that specific directive and otherwise do the job to the best of my abilities. Some cops tend to do the same thing, so it's not like there isn't precedent for it.
     
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  5. OP
    Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    This is most likely what I'll do as well.....try to find some way of letting them know they can talk without fear of reprisal from me. It's the "finding the way roundabout" that's going to present some huge hurdles.

    Hmmm....we do have lawyers on call for our association. Maybe this would be a good reason to join again.

    oth...I suppose I could do what my heart says is right for the person in front of me and deal with the consequences - however that turns out. If I lose my job and my license - then maybe it'll get noticed by many others and something can be done about this ridiculous law.

    Thanks for the suggestions and the feedback. :)
     
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  6. Elis

    Elis I Like this Place

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    I know too little in the subject to say how I'd handle the situation, but if you determine that you're going to file such activities, then I feel that you should tell them about it in advance, so that they can be in control.

    I'm completely with you with that being messed up. I hope you can find a good workaround.

    I think that is pretty much what I'd do.
     
  7. OP
    Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    :D

    It's an honor being around so many of you here that would attempt to do the right thing - despite the consequences.

    Thanks Elis!
     
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  8. Paladin-X

    Paladin-X Permanent Fixture

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    That law was probably written back in the day of the DSM I, when homosexuality was considered a mental illness.

    Though probably not good advice, I ignore laws that are stupid.
     
    #8 Paladin-X, Feb 4, 2013
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  9. Trifoilum

    Trifoilum find wisdom, build hope.

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    At first, I would suggest you to try to make a claim that while yes, this is the law, that is not your personal belief and you find that rule distasteful. At the very least, the children involved should know both of that.. that the law =/= the wielder of the law. Then ask that, knowing that rule, would they still want to talk about that aspect of their lives?

    See their reactions, make some notes, at least see how good / bad it is.

    That's a pretty stupid rule. If possible I would also try to find about the matter legally; as in, will you get punished due to that? Were there anyone being punished or fired because of that? Does it have a strong binding capacities?
     
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  10. Cornerstone

    Cornerstone Well-known member

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    It is dangerous to be right when the GURVERNMUNT is wrong
    ~Voltaire

    I'd say just don't make a point of it unless you have to. You disagree with this but I would consider it a non-issue until you have to face it and then you'll know what to do. I think you do anyway but you really will when it actually comes to it.

    I don't hold laws that are flat-out wrong with any regard other than I am cautious because I understand that that attitude does not fly.
    They have probably made this law because same-sex relationships aren't understood by a lot of people.
    I think it is easy to see how this creates a vicious circle where everyone is ignorant because nobody talks because it is stigmatised because everyone is ignorant.
     
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  11. ndn cat

    ndn cat Newbie

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    Ethical to your professional credentials means you report what you are supposed to regardless of your "personal" convictions. Period.

    Ethical to your personal beliefs means you work at raising awareness of the discrepency toward LBGT teenagers and fight to change the system.
     
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  12. Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    Contrary to popular opinion, mythos does not overrule reality. Sorry, Texas >.>

    I had a teacher in high school who would, when asked for personal help, tell her students she could only offer her opinion if it were about a friend. So students knew to simply say, "What should I do about a friend who. . ." That way, she has no names and cannot report anything. Analogy ftw!
     
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  13. Sriracha

    Sriracha Not here.
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    Wow [MENTION=2578]Kgal[/MENTION]. You know I know that sucks. It is quite the pickle to be in.
     
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  14. OP
    Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    Exactly! There's the contradiction.

    While I was in training up at Regional Headquarters I had an opportunity to get to know the 2nd in command social worker. He's young - maybe 30 - and has a great ability to roll with the government absurdities all around us. On the way to lunch I asked if I could ride with him in order to speak directly to him about this conundrum. We talked....and I made a good choice to do this.

    He brought up the idea of statistical correlations between same gender sex and prior sexual abuse. I agreed that it may well exist. I pointed out that by having the law it sure would dissuade young lgbt persons from admitting to having sex in the first place. So how on earth could I help them if I didn't know the complete picture of their world. He agreed.

    I also pointed out I live in a very rural area and everyone knows everyone's business if it gets dragged into the system - like Child Protective Services and The Sheriff's Office. He agreed with that as well.

    As for the law - we covered the idea of me going to the association and then we agreed they'd tell me to follow the law. So...no point in going there. He has never ever heard of anyone losing their license for not reporting. OTH - he admitted that most social workers don't even know about this law - which is why it's being taught now as CEU's.

    Then he laughed with sarcasm dripping when he said the word "Ethics". Evidently there isn't much of that going around in TX these days.

    I came away from our conversation feeling better in that I decided I'll have to take each case as they come to me.
     
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  15. OP
    Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    This is a very helpful idea! Thanks Radiant!!!!! :D
     
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  16. just me

    just me GONE

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    I must ask if you researched your new job before taking it?
     
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  17. Radiantshadow

    Radiantshadow Urban shaman

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    You are most welcome. In line with Ndn_cat, you may find this website helpful for change. Imo, your situation is unnecessarily delicate. I haven't read my entire school's database (yet), but none of my research has shown any intrinsically unhealthy effects to homosexual relationships; most of the negativity seems to come from artificial authorities pre-dating the individuals involved. I do not know the reason behind your state's law, but treating the relationships as any different than heterosexual ones doesn't do anything to resolve the lingering antagonism towards them and actually, y'know, limit the problem of discrimination. Most people in relationships have enough going on without also having the misfortune to be teenage and of an unpopular orientation. But I digress.

    I wish you the best in this, Kgal.
     
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  18. the

    the Si master race.
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    You should do whatever is necessary to change the law. Then the problem will be solved for everyone.
     
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  19. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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  20. OP
    Kgal

    Kgal Magic Star Dust
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    Hi just me! :wave:

    I interned in a position very similar to this when I was in college back in 2008. The only difference between this particular position and the other - is that this job is funded by a grant. The other position is hired by the State.

    So...no...I didn't research it. Every thing told to me about the job duties from the previous sw coincided along with my memory. The CSHCN program hasn't really changed since it was introduced via Title X back in '32. It was designated to provide case management for children with chronic health care needs as well as adults who have cystic fibrosis.

    Why do you ask?
     
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