Medical diagnosis is an identification of a character of an illness and its specifics. This process demands gathering data about the state of the patient’s health, examining symptoms, and deciding about the necessary treatment. This last step might be proper only if the steps before were accomplished correctly. Otherwise, the diagnosis can be false, leading to a treatment that does not match it and can only worsen the whole situation. That is why the whole process must be followed in order to make an objective and adequate diagnosis. However, some agencies can require making a diagnosis and treatment plan based on impressions at the time of the initial session. Certainly, this requirement will influence one’s practice in different ways, but the most realistic are the following: it will complicate it in a pragmatic and moral sense.
First of all, such a requirement to make a diagnosis and treatment plan will complicate a practice because it demands to be very precise and objective about one’s impressions. There are several reasons for it, and the main one is the subjective nature of any impressions. That is, no one cannot entirely rely on his feelings, emotions, and intuitions as they are not measurable and may be wrong. Smith (2003) notes that “When you give your expert opinion or conduct an assessment, base your evaluation only on the data available” (para. 90). To follow this advice is hard when there is data only from the initial session, and it is necessary to be very clear in this process.
Secondly, if the agency requires its employee to work the described way, it makes a moral problem for a trainee. As a diagnosis is “an essential step leading to a treatment plan”, clarifying it directly influences a patient’s health (Corey, Corey, & Corey, 2019, p. 373). It means that a practitioner has a big responsibility to make no mistake. He must think about his behavior in such a situation to do his work conscientiously.
Definitely, the question about maintaining the integrity within such an agency appears here, and I, personally, would try to check a diagnosis and treatment plan in any case to prevent a failure. Holz (2008) notes that “The systematic problem-solving process is brought about by the practitioner’s client-centered approach and his or her competence to choose a proper course of action” (para. 28). Agencies or corporations do not exist in an ethical dimension as a human does. Therefore, as a client-centered practitioner, I would consult with the client, no matter what, for as long as I needed to make things as perfect as possible.
To conclude, if some agency requires to make a diagnosis and treatment plan based just on the impressions, it complicates practice in a pragmatic and moral sense. It demands to be more objective, precise, and accurate in the final decision because it will define the vector of the whole treatment course. However, not to accidentally make a mistake that can worsen a patient’s health and maintain my own integrity within such an agency, I would check myself in any way. Abstract structures of corporations are not moral by definition, unlike humans, which makes them ethically responsible for their actions.
Corey, G., Corey, M. S., & Corey, C. (2019). Issues and ethics in the helping professions (10th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
Holz, M. (2008). There’s a Place for “Us” – How Community Fits Into Social Work. Web.
Smith, D. (2003). 10 ways practitioners can avoid frequent ethical pitfalls. Web.