Case Managers on the Front Lines of Ethical Dilemmas: Advocacy, Autonomy, and Preventing Case Manager Burnout

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Purpose:The purpose of this article is to examine how case managers are routinely confronted by ethical dilemmas within a fragmented health care system and given the reality of financial pressures that influence life-changing decisions. The Code of Professional Conduct for Case Managers (Code), published by the Commission for Case Manager Certification, acknowledges “case managers may often confront ethical dilemmas” (Code 1996, Rev. 2015).Primary Practice Settings:The Code and expectations that professional case managers, particularly those who are board certified, will uphold ethical and legal practice apply to case managers in every practice setting across the full continuum of health care.Implementations for Case Management Practice:This discussion acknowledges the ethical dilemmas that case managers routinely confront, which empowers them to seek support, guidance, and resources to support ethical practice. In addition, the article seeks to raise awareness of the effects of burnout and moral distress on case managers and others with whom they work closely on interdisciplinary teams.

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