Vulnerability: Reflection on its ethical implications for the protection of participants in SAMHSA programs

Ethics and Behavior 8 (4):293 – 304 (1998)
Abstract
The vulnerability of participants in Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs is a consequence of the illnesses that they are experiencing; ethical guarantees must be in place that ensure the dignity of the persons involved in such programs. Dignity is more than an individual concern; it has individual, institutional, and societal dimensions. An ethical framework is proposed that involves the interrelated vulnerabilities and needs of individuals and communities and our societal response to them. Among the issues given particular attention are individual and community stigmatization, target population involvement in program planning, balance with regard to confidentiality and privacy, the place of proportionality grounded in a rich sense of community as a guiding ethical principle, and guidelines for SAMHSA programs.
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