Sunday, March 8, 2009

When you face your first ethical dilemma

One day soon, as a law student, you will face an ethical/moral dilemma like you have never known. I can't really say that you can prepare yourself for it, but I believe how you handle it will be indicitive of how you will handle issues throughout your career as an attorney.

The other day, I had to report someone that I love to child protective services. I will not go into the ins and outs of it, but it literally ripped by world out from under me. First, I am a mandatory reporter and there are certain areas of abuse and neglect that I have no other decision but to call child services. But the thing is, that I would have, even had I not been a mandatory reporter. When a parent fails to see that he/she is putting his/her child in harm's way, morally there is a duty to do whatever you can to protect the child/ren involved from something that could/does harm them.

For me, I work in a division that terminates parental rights. I could not, in all good conscience, treat the person I knew, any different from one of the parents in my cases. That would be the ultimate in hypocracy. What is the worst though, is that normally when you report, there is no personal cost involved in reporting. This time there was.

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