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3.4.4 Law imposes more stringent requirements than ethics

All health care practitioners, including those in CAM, must work within the laws of the country where they practise. Although the law does not always reflect what is considered ethical – indeed, ethical duties may be thought of as higher than legal duties – in most jurisdictions it ensures that practitioners are subject, at the very least, to minimal requirements vis-à-vis respect for users' dignity, user information, confidentiality, and maintaining professional boundaries.

Howeve
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3.4.2 CAM practitioners are more ethical than conventional doctors

Proponents of CAM argue that because it is safer and has fewer side effects than conventional medicine, CAM practitioners must be inherently more ethical than doctors. This is a false argument in several respects. While CAM is generally very safe compared with some powerful conventional remedies (a point acknowledged in para. 4.21 of the House of Lords Report, 2000), all therapies can cause harm in unskilled hands. Some side effects of CAM are potentially serious, particularly if there is a c
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3.4 Myths about ethics

The media portray most ethical issues in highly charged terms, so it can be hard to understand what professional ethics is about, and what the full scope of ethical behaviour amounts to. In short, the media rarely explore the ‘grey’ areas of many ethical decisions. For example, the issue of abortion is viewed as either ‘pro choice’ or ‘pro life’. In this way the following myths about ethics are perpetrated.


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2.12.1 Integration

One factor which is already influencing the nature of the therapeutic relationship is the move towards greater integration with orthodox medicine. Whether or not CAM practitioners welcome this development, it is inevitable. The impetus for this is partly about providing health care that gives patient satisfaction, and also stemming the tide of the spiralling costs of hi-tech, orthodox medicine and medical litigation. Stacey (1988) points out that, when the state funds parts of the nati
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2.3.3 CAM and the ‘tyranny of health’

Some commentators criticise the very idea of the ‘therapy culture’. The issue for them is not how to get people more involved with their health and the therapeutic relationship, but the unhealthy attitude many people have towards seeking perfect health in the first place. How healthy is it for people to constantly turn to professionals or therapists for advice on health care and lifestyle? Should people believe that being in the best of health is the main concern in their lives? The cultu
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2.3.2 Responsibility for the causes of ill health

Doyal and Pennell (1979) write from the perspective of political economy and argue that there is a continual state of conflict hidden within health experiences and health care relationships. Society produces ill health through an unrelenting drive towards profit and a failure to put the health and wellbeing of individuals first. Work and everyday social life are bound up with taking risks. Many workers experience stress and some occupations involve the risk of physical injury. Social class gr
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1.2.2 Reviewing the research: how people understand ‘health’

Being a contested concept, ‘health’ is constantly being redefined and re-evaluated. Lay people do not necessarily accept biomedical definitions of health and illness uncritically. Instead they have a complex web of beliefs, constructs and understandings about health and illness. These inform people's health behaviour, including decisions about whether to self-manage, seek help within local or lay networks, or consult a health professional.

Some lay people regard health as the absenc
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this unit you should be able to:

  • understand the diversity of values associated with the use and provision of complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) and explore some of the legal and ethical issues associated with CAM use;

  • reflect upon and critically evaluate personal and lived experiences of health in relation to CAM;

  • relate ethics and values to your own personal situation and to that of others within a given case study or scena
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1.5.2 Ways of organising yourself

How do you organise yourself?

Activity

Make a note of how you organise your:

  • emails

  • internet bookmarks or favorites

  • computer files

  • your h
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1.4.4 O is for Objectivity

One of the characteristics of ‘good’ information is that it should be balanced and present both sides of an argument or issue. This way the reader is left to weigh up the evidence and make a decision. In reality, we recognise that no information is truly objective.

This means that the onus is on you, the reader, to develop a critical awareness of the positions represented in what you read, and to take account of this when you interpret the information. In some cases, authors may be
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1.3.1 Introduction

You can find a lot of information about health and lifestyle on the internet.

To find this information you might choose to use:

  • search engines and subject gateways;

  • books and electronic books;

  • databases;

  • journals;

  • encyclopedias

  • statistics

  • internet resources.


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1.2.4 Checklist of common features

  • Is there any online help?

  • Can I do a simple search?

  • Can I look at the information in both short and detailed form?

  • Can I choose where in the record I want my search terms to be found?

  • Can I search for phrases?

  • Can I combine search terms?

  • Can I use truncation?

  • Can I use wildcards?

  • Can I do an advanced search?

  • <
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1.1.1 Assessing your current level of knowledge

If you explore all the resources and activities in this unit, you might need to allow between two and nine hours to complete it.

Before you read this guide, why not use the self-assessment questions on the next screen to rate your current level of knowledge?

Print or save these questions and for each question, mark the most appropriate number on the scale. When you have finished, you can review your answers. A score of three of less might indicate a gap in your knowledge
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Learning outcomes

By the end of this guide you should be able to:

  • conduct your own searches efficiently and effectively;

  • find references to material in bibliographic databases;

  • make efficient use of full text electronic journals services;

  • critically evaluate information from a variety of sources;

  • understand the importance of organising your own information;

  • identify some of the systems available;

  • describe ho
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Introduction

This unit will help you to identify and use information in health and lifestyle, whether for your work, study or personal purposes. Experiment with some of the key resources in this subject area, and learn about the skills which will enable you to plan searches for information, so you can find what you are looking for more easily. Discover the meaning of information quality, and learn how to evaluate the information you come across. You will also be introduced to the many different ways of or
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References

Baker, C. (ed.) (1998) Human Rights Act 1998: A Practitioner's Guide, London, Sweet and Maxwell.
Bashir, A. (1999) ‘Working in racist Britain’, Community Care, 21–27 October, p. 26.
Biehal, N., Clayden, J., Stein, M. and Wade, J. (1992) Prepared for Living? A Survey of Young People Leaving the Care of Three Local Authorities, London, National Childre
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4.2 Conflict and partnership

Whatever the professional setting of their practice, social workers are likely to be working with service users from a diverse range of cultures and backgrounds. As noted above, it is part of their responsibility as practitioners to respect and value social diversity and to work with service users in a way that recognises and builds on their strengths. This can be difficult to do in the context of the legislation. At this point, however, we want you to start to think about how practitioners c
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2.1 The nature of the social work task

Social work is a responsible and demanding job. Practitioners work in social settings characterised by enormous diversity, and they perform a range of roles, requiring different skills. Public expectations, agency requirements and resources and the needs of service users all create pressures for social workers. The public receives only a snapshot of a social worker's responsibilities and, against a background of media concentration on the sensational, the thousands of successful outcomes and
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Learning outcomes

After studying this unit you should be able to:

  • Knowledge

  • explain the importance of knowing the law for social care and social work professionals;

  • demonstrate that you understand that social work decision-making must be set within a legal as well as an agency context;

  • outline how the law relates to social work issues;

  • demonstrate that you understand the centrality of the ideas of welfare and rights to social wo
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Introduction

This unit is made up of four extracts related to social care, social work and the law. The extracts are stand-alone sections but follow on from each other to make up this unit. You will be introduced to five main themes that shape practice in the field of social care and social work. The aim of this unit is to enhance your understanding of the relationship between social work practice and the law.

This material is from our archive and is an adapted extract from Social care, social wo
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