Legal and Ethical Issues in Counselling

This post will give ideas about Legal and Ethical Issues in Counselling, A counselor has many legal issues to consider. Breaching confidentiality becomes necessary when the counselor has a duty to warn or an ethical duty to protect the client and others from harm.


Issues that have some flanked with social and legal repercussions as per the law of the country, There are various issues relating to confidentiality, discrimination and rights of ‘People living with HIV and AIDS’ (PLWHAs) for equality, dignity and equal opportunity at the work place and at medical health care centers, although in India constitutional rights are good enough to assure equality and dignity. after coming of the HIV/AIDS Act than little issues are reduced but some more issues arrived.

Like:- Women above 18 years have the right to terminate pregnancy that meets the legal criteria.
Homosexuality in India was illegal till a 2009 according to Delhi High court 
Every client has the right to know any information that relates to her/him.
Every client has the right to receive equal treatment and healthcare.
Rights of individual versus right of society.
Right to refuse blood test/diagnostic procedures.
Right to refuse treatment.
Right to receive treatment.
Right to receive information.
Some basic ethical consideration includes:
Beneficence: act in the client’s best interest.
Non-malfeasance:-do no harm the client or the situation.

Justice:- Non-biased, fair to the client and situation.
Autonomy:-Facilitate client’s right.

Other issues for Counselling

STI/RTI Counsellor may get clients who need more than STI/RTI or HIV/AIDS Counselling, This may include Counselling on sexual violence or rape.


Any Sexual act, attempt to obtain sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic a person’s sexuality, using coercion, threats of harm or physical force. THIS ALSO INCLUDE RAPE.

Support Required-Sexual Violence or Rape:- 

1-Medical services.
2-Psychological services.
3-Legal assistance.


1-Victims of sexual violence or rape need sensitive handling and counselling to be able to cope with their physical and psychological trauma.

2-Encourage clients to take help of professional psychologist also.

3-Explain that clients should assist and cooperate with legal authorities to document facts.

4-Assist clients to contact appropriate legal services or support institution for follow-up support.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (Prevention and Control) Act, 2017, came into force on September 10, 2018. It aims to prevent and control the spread of HIV and AIDS in the country and provides for penalties for discrimination against those affected by the virus.  Introduced by senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad in 2014, the Bill was passed by the Rajya Sabha on March 22, 2017, and a month later by the Lok Sabha on April 12. It received the assent of the President on April 20, 2017.

All you need to know about the HIV/AIDS Act?

The Act prohibits discrimination or unfair treatment of HIV-infected people on any grounds. It prohibits denial or discontinuation of healthcare services, right of movement, right to reside, purchase, rent or occupy property and hold public or private office etc.

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