Samantha Smith is a case manager at the county human services department in her community. She works primarily with intellectually disabled clients, assisting them to receive the services they need. Samantha is good at her job and her clients often become quite comfortable with her. Ian is a client of Samantha’s. With an IQ of 55, he remains quite self-sufficient, living in his own small apartment and working at a part-time job. Ian is often transported to his appointments by his sister, Kate. Samantha is introduced to Kate in the waiting room when she comes to get Ian for a recent appointment.
During the visit, Ian reports to Samantha that he has been a bit forgetful lately. He shares that this past week, he returned home and realized he forgot to turn off his stove when he left for an appointment. Later that afternoon, Kate calls Samantha and asks how her brother is doing. She is worried about him and asks if Samantha can give her information about him to alleviate her concern.
Use the Internet and the library to investigate the legal challenges of working with individuals with intellectual disabilities.
In a 3–5-page paper, respond to the following questions:
1. Introduce the details of this case study and identify the main legal issues associated with working with intellectually disabled clients.
2. Discuss the specific legal issues raised by Ian’s situation.
What steps should Samantha take next? What are the implications of these legal issues regarding the choices she must make?
3. Does Informed Consent play a role in this scenario? If so, how?
What are the ethical implications of this case study? Identify and discuss the NOHS Standards that might apply.
4. Finally, discuss strategies to minimize the likelihood of these legal and ethical issues arising in your practice. Be sure to provide information from research that clearly expands on the material available from the text or other course materials.
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