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date: 20 May 2022

This textbook on palliative social work is a companion volume to the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine and the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Nursing. To that end, this chapter will accomplish the following:

The National Association of Social Workers (NASW) Code of Ethics includes a statement of mission and values that are actualized in ethical principles that inform social work practice standards.

Social work practice standards include ethical responsibilities to clients, colleagues, practice settings, the profession, and society.

An ethical dilemma occurs when a social worker must make a choice between two or more ethically justified directives or obligations that cannot be equally met at the same time.

The ethically competent social worker recognizes ethical problems, proactively responds to ethical challenges to practice, participates in improving the ethical environment in his or her practice setting, and works to assure that patients and families have equal and fair access to needed services.

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