The term advocacy has been used in various contexts such as in legal mechanisms as well as in social services. Yet, the notions on advocacy have a common ground – that is it pertains to an act made for the benefit of other person. By such definition, advocacy can really be used in different circumstances. For example, in courtroom sessions, the prosecution lawyers advocate the legal rights of their client. Obviously, advocacy is used to define how lawyers want to voice out the need of their client for the upholding of the latter’s right.
Advocacy can also be seen in services offered by social workers. The social workers act in behalf of unfortunate individuals who wish to improve their social inadequacies. What Advocacy Is? As defined by Neil Bateman, advocacy refers to an act of pleading in support of another person. This implies that the central focus of the concept of advocacy is not the advocate but the subject of his advocacy – that is the achievement of the need of his client. Yet such pleading does not necessarily mean that the advocate would plea for mercy.
Such is done by means of conversing logical arguments in order to establish the necessity of the advocacy (Bateman, 2000). In effect, the main thesis in the definition of advocacy is that it is done to uphold the welfare rights of those people who are socially marginalized. The function of the advocate then is to make it clear to the other party that there is a need for the betterment of these marginalized people. Furthermore, the concept of advocacy wants to clarify the distinguishing terms associated with the very concept of “client (Bateman, 2000).
The most common expression use to denote the latter is customer. However, people who define advocacy thinks that it would become very discriminating on the part of the client to say that he is a customer which also means that he is a “service-user. ” Yet that is the very thing that is happening. Nevertheless, these people would like to change such connotation by saying that client are not mere service-user but a partner of the advocate himself. By that, it is ore appropriate to call them as “partners” and not service-users (Henderson & Pochin, 2001).
The Need for the Code of Ethics in Advocacy As mentioned earlier, the main theme of advocacy lies on the idea that the advocate is doing his effort for the sake of another person. Hence it must be clear that the advocate is not acting for his own interests but for the betterment of the welfare of his client. This must be observed for the reason that advocacy would lose its essence if the object of advocacy is defeated by the idea that the advocate is only doing it for his own sake.
Moreover, advocacy is intended to create a very profound relationship among the advocates and the clients themselves. In the first place, there is a need to establish an open communication on the part of the client and the advocate in order to fully address the former’s grievances or demands (Henderson & Pochin, 2001). And in doing so, the advocate is required to have a moral sense so as to become aware of the feelings and other concerns of his client.
For example in a case of a rape-victim, the advocate should be careful enough not to make actions that are offending to his client. Though he is the latter’s advocate, it does not allow him to trespass his client’s personal concerns such as privacy. More often then not, the advocate and the client made an agreement in which the limitations of one another are set. Such agreement is made to make sure that the advocate would not go beyond limitations. In addition, John Weafer viewed advocacy as that which empowers those people who are not motivated or capable to speak for themselves.
Empowerment means that the advocate is supporting the welfare of his client to the point that he is fighting for what is the most advantageous thing for his client. The advocate stands for the need of the client. Hence it is needed that the advocate has the same view and principle regarding the case of his client in order to avoid future moral dilemmas that may impair the realization of a particular advocacy (Weafer, 2003). Also, Weafer argued that in advocacy, the advocate is making negotiations with the other side (other party) in behalf of a person who is socially marginalized.
The promotion of the welfare rights of those people who are left out (also known as the marginalized sector of the society) is the underlying principle behind the concept of advocacy (Weafer, 2003). It is to be noted that there are people who do not have access to certain information that has concern with their welfare. The task of an advocate is to make this information accessible and open to their clients so as to get their full reactions and demands. Thus, the code ethics that the advocate must follow includes that above all things, the advocate must maintain the same position as what his client has.
Secondly, the advocate must never use the need of the client as means for his own success or for his own interests but always treat such as the end (as how Kantian puts it). Next, the advocate must always seek the permission of his client for all the relevant things that concern his client before he uses it as one of his means to pursue the advocacy. Lastly, the advocate has a duty towards his client to inform him about the development and progress of the advocacy. Irish Report: Voluntary Hospice Movement in Ireland
The advocacy to increase the number of hospices in Ireland as well as to improve the facilities in established hospices has been the most current movement in Ireland. According to the report, the advocates of the hospice movement demand to increase the services rendered by the hospices as well as to advance the in-patient facilities (Hospice/Palliative Care in Ireland). Such is being raised by the advocates to ensure that ill-people would receive greater and better amount of treatment.
By such advocacy, the Irish government has started to give full attentions on the establishment of hospices all over the country as well as on the development of hospice services. Although the state has promised to allocate funds for the advocacy on hospices, the government is asking for a partnership with the volunteer bodies and organizations so as to maintain the monitoring and advancement of hospices. The advocacy has become an extensive campaign that necessitated the consideration of founding hospices in whole Ireland. Conclusion
To sum up, advocacy pertains to the act of supporting or doing something in behalf of others. The main core of the concept of advocacy revolves on the idea that it is done for the benefit of other not for own sake. Acting for the sake of other people requires the advocate to become morally aware of his actions and purposes in order to protect the interests and the original need of his client. The code of ethics mentioned in this paper will give moral standard on how an advocate shall act in the pursuit his objective – a particular advocacy.
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