The mediator deals directly with clients in a situation where this is a conflict that is needs to be resolved, for this reason I feel that the greatest ethical issues will directly effect the people that we are working with. The violation of ethical codes could come in the forms of autonomy, maleficence, beneficence, justice, or others such as fidelity. Each of these can do sever damage to the client(s) that we are trying to help.
Autonomy means independence to make choices. We have to let our clients make there own choices. We can guide them is the right direction, make suggestions, and discuss the options that they have put forth. However, we can not make decisions for them or force them into a decision. We must ensure that we are within our respective boundaries at all times and not get into power struggles with our clients.
Maleficence is causing harm to others. As a mediator one could cause harm with direct actions, for example physical abuse or favoring one party completely. This also covers not doing any intentional harm. As a mediator one may not mean to harm the client but it happens. This could happen when the mediator is dealing with an emotionally fragile client, a client who is young and lacks understanding of the process, or clients that are in mediation because a child is involved and there best interest are not being considered. In this case we want to practice nonmaleficence.
The final ethical principal that I think is important is that of fidelity. Fidelity means that we can be trusted, we honor our commitments, and we are loyal to our clients. A mediator expects that the client can be trusted and will go by his word is mediation; the client will honor any commitment to the process or other party that is made, and that the client will be loyal to the process and not circumvent the proceedings. When the mediator expects these things from the client the mediator should also practice them him/her self.