Week 4: Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity Issues Last week we learned abo

Week 4: Multicultural Perspectives and Diversity Issues
Last week we learned about values in the helping profession and this ties into multiculturalism and diversity in the helping profession. This week, we discuss multicultural perspectives and diversity in the context of human services, and we will explore a Tennessee law passed in 2016 allowing counselors to refuse to treat clients based on different belief systems (Senate Bill 1556). The law stated counselors could refuse treatment if the client wanted to work on issues that were in conflict with sincerely held religious beliefs of the counselor, provided a proper referral was made. This has been a hotly debated law and made headlines across the country. There are still debates going on in Tennessee about this law and additional laws that have been proposed. A new law, passed in 2017 (SB 0449) says that the state of Tennessee has the final say on codes of ethics for all licensed professionals, counseling included. This means changes made by licensed professions (like doctors, pharmacists, and counselors) to their codes of ethics or other professional measures will have to be reviewed by the attorney general and approved by the Tennessee state legislature to be applied in Tennessee, even if the codes have been adopted at a national level. A link to a summary of SB 0449 and SB 1556 has been included. Articles written by parties both for and against the law are included below.
Please respond to the questions below.
1. What do you think about this law in light of the readings for this week and last week? How does it compare to what the textbook states regarding the ethics of these situations?
2. What do you think about the new law that was passed in 2017 regarding a state legislature having the final say on ethical codes in their state (SB 0449)? What do you think about the fact that many of these legislators have no background or training in human services yet will be making decisions about ethical codes?
3. How does this information cause you to reflect on your own career path as a human services professional with respect to multiculturalism and diversity?
http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/109/Amend/HA1006.pdf SB 1557
http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=SB0449 click on “summary” tab, then SB 0449
http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/politics/2016/04/27/haslam-signs-controversial-bill-giving-therapists-protections/83509448/ local news article that quotes both for and against parties
https://ct.counseling.org/2016/06/license-deny-services/ ACA article against bill
https://factn.org/portfolio-item/tn-senate-bill-1556-tn-house-bill-1840/ Family Action Council of Tennessee for the bill

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