Ethical Considerations and Legal Issues

A guide for humanitarian, health care, and human rights workers

Ethical Considerations and Legal Issues

  • Type of paperAssignment
  • SubjectManagement
  • Number of pages2
  • Format of citationAPA
  • Number of cited resources4
  • Type of serviceWriting from scratch

Assignment: Ethical Considerations and Legal Issues Most professional organizations have a set of ethical principles or guidelines that guide the conduct of a crisis worker. From the essential concept of ″do no harm″ to more involved practices, such as obtaining informed consent, the ethical considerations that you may take for granted in normal practice are often amplified in disasters, crises, or traumas. Crisis workers must also be aware of legal issues that may arise in the event of a disaster, crisis, or trauma. For example, when responding to crises or traumas involving minors, crisis workers are bound by mandated reporting laws. Every country has such laws, requiring mental health professionals and school personnel (among others) to report crises and traumas such as child abuse, to state departments of children, youth, and families. In this Assignment, you will explain ethical considerations and legal issues related to responding to a disaster, crisis, or trauma described in one of two case studies. To prepare for this Assignment: Review the APA Ethics Code and reflect on the standards that apply to crisis response and intervention. Reflect on which APA ethical principles relate to crisis response and intervention. Think about the ethical considerations and legal issues related to school violence. Read the Week 2 Case Studies and select one to which you will respond. Think about the ethical considerations and/or legal issues related to the case study you chose. Then, consider how you might address those considerations and/or issues as a crisis worker. The Assignment: (1–2 pages) Identify the Case Study to which you are responding. Describe the ethical considerations and/or legal issues related to the Case Study you selected. Explain how you might address those ethical considerations and legal issues as a crisis worker. Be specific. Please check attachment for the case study list Kindly use some of these resources equired Readings American Psychological Association. (2014). Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct – Including 2010 amendments. Retrieved from Dass-Brailsford, P. (2008). After the storm: Recognition, recovery, and reconstruction. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39(1), 24–30. Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. Ehrenreich, J. H. (2002). A guide for humanitarian, health care, and human rights workers: Caring for others, caring for yourself. Retrieved from James, R. K., & Gilliland, B. E. (2017). Crisis intervention strategies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. Chapter 2, ″Culturally Effective Helping″ (pp. 27-47) Chapter 13, ″Crises in Schools″ (pp. 429-480) Newman, E., Risch, E., & Kassam-Adams, N. (2006). Ethical issues in trauma-related research: A review. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, 1(3), 29–46. Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases. Sommers-Flanagan, R. (2007). Ethical considerations in crisis and humanitarian interventions. Ethics & Behavior, 17(2), 187–202. Note: Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.


A guide for humanitarian, health care, and human rights workers

Aid workers are supposed to gather information about the disaster-stricken people without re-traumatizing the victims. Questions and other aspects of interview process may trigger memories that are traumatic to the victims. These can cause anxiety, intense fear, and other negative reactions which cause more trauma to the victim. To address that the humanitarian worker can do the following; the humanitarian worker should begin by making the victim aware of the interview process. He can give the reasons on why the victim is being interviewed, he can explain the purpose for the interview, and also tell the victim what he will gain by being interviewed. This may help a lot in the interviewing process by making sure the victim has full awareness of the interview. The worker needs to listen actively to the victim, he should not just listen to the person being interviewed rather he should observe the body language of the victim and the tone of voice. The worker should try to understand what the victims are trying to convey and what it means to them. He should not assume to understand what the victim is trying to say and should not anticipate what they mean or say.

The worker should listen to what the victims actually mean or say and should reflect back in their own words their understanding of what the victims are feeling or saying. Also the worker should keep the interview focused gently by using statements or questions of clarification to put the interview back on focus. The worker should not ask the victim to justify his own feelings or behavior. He should ensure he is not judgmental since his aim is to gain understanding and information but not to pass judgements.

The worker can use the following specific techniques for interviewing trauma survivors; under almost all the circumstances the female rape victims should be interviewed by a woman since the gender or ethnicity of the interviewer may interact with the interview’s experience or trigger the victim. The worker should start by welcoming and greeting the victim. He should introduce himself and tell the victim what exactly is going to happen. Also the worker should give the victim control over the depth and pace of the interview by asking permission from the victim. The worker should explicitly reassure the victim as to their right to not answer any question, to discontinue the interview, or to take break at any time. The victim should be allowed permission to say if the questions are irrelevant or off the target.

While working with the victims the workers should ensure they meet the basic needs of the victims since it is hard for them to maintain a stable emotional state .after a disaster or any circumstances, unless their basic needs are met. Survivors must be assured stable access to food, water, clothing, and shelter. Poor conditions in a shelter or refugee camp (lack of food, water, sanitation, shelter; threats to personal safety), failure to provide adequate housing, uncertainty as to food and water supplies, and separation of family members from one another are themselves potent causes of emotional problems and are major obstacles to recovery from the emotional effects of the disaster.

The workers should try and communicate with survivors since uncertainty increases survivors level of stress. Incorrect information produces confusion, can interfere with appropriate responses, and can lead to tensions among survivors or between survivors and relief workers. Workers should provide survivors with accurate and full information, as quickly as possible, using both individual, direct forms of communication and general public announcements (e.g., via the mass media).


Ehrenreich, J.H. (2001). Coping With Disaster: A Guidebook to Psychosocial

Intervention. Old Westbury, NY: Center for Psychology and Society. (Available online,

in English and Spanish, at;

Hodgkinson, P.E., & Stewart, M. (1998). Coping with catastrophe: A handbook of

post-disaster psychosocial aftercare (2nd Edition). London: Routledge

Roberts, A.R. (Editor). (1990). Crisis intervention handbook. Belmont, CA:


World Health Organization, (1996). Mental Health of Refugees

Young, B.H., Ford, J.D., Ruzek, J.I., Friedman, M.J., & Gusman, F.D. (1998). Disaster

mental health services: A guidebook for clinicians and administrators. White River

Junction, VT: National Center for PTSD. (Available on-line at