A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

A Framework for Ethical Decision Making

Chapter 4 A Framework for Ethical Decision Making 1 Ethical Decision Ethical Decision Making Process is the processes of choosing the best alternative for achieving the best results or outcomes compliance with individual and social values,

moral, and regulations. Making Ethical Decisions Making good ethical decisions to solve Ethical Dilemma requires a trained sensitivity to ethical issues and a practiced method for exploring the ethical aspects of a decision. Having a method for ethical decision making is absolutely essential. Ethical decision should be based on ethical principles

and codes rather than on emotions, thoughts, fixed policies. Ethical Dilemma Ethical dilemma: is a situation with uncertainty about what is right to do from a moral or ethical perspective. For example, the manager of a company may be put in a position in which he must choose between the interests of his employees and his

investors. Give more profits or increase the salary? Ethical Dilemma Defined Example 2 : A new technology is being launched which is good for the company as well as the customers. But, if this is brought into use, a lesser man-power is required for the organization. The entrepreneur is now in an ethical dilemma whether

he wants to better his clients with good services or be loyal to his employees who have helped the company grow. The unpleasantness of the situation arises when neither the clients nor the employees deserve to suffer and it is the entrepreneurs call to take. The Framework Overview Step One: Describe the problem Step Two: Determine whether there is an ethical issue

or an ethical dilemma Step Three: Identify and rank the key values and principles Step Four: Gather your information Step Five: Review any applicable Code of Ethics Step Six: Determine the options Step Seven: Select a course of action Step Eight: Put your plan into action. Step Nine: Evaluate the results.

Step One: Describe the Problem You must first describe the problem and ensure that its actually a moral dilemma that needs to follow an ethical model. Consider the nature of the problem and any signs of the problem and ensure that youre attempting to solve the issue and not just its signs Circumstances affect the problem definition (for whom does the problem exist? What is the

surroundings?) Step Two: Determine Whether There Is an Ethical Dilemma Dilemma becomes ethical when the good or bad options seem to have a moral component (e.g. privacy vs. avoidance of harm, freedom vs. safety). Terms of an ethical dilemma must be ethical in nature, not legal.

If something is a law, you then have the ethical choice to follow the law or not. Step Three: Identify and Rank the Key Values and Principles What reasons can you provide for prioritizing one competing value over another? Understand that a decision to a dilemma which goes against an individuals personal set of values has very little chance of success.

Step Four: Gather Your Information Do you have all the known facts? Do you understand the applicable laws or legalities? Do you have all relevant policies available to review?

Are you clear about the individuals views and personal values? * Dont hesitate to seek out consultation. Step Five: Review Any Applicable Code of Ethics Look for the following: -- mission statement -- values base of the organization -- ethical principles to guide practice

-- ethical standards Codes can be revised( ) or updated as needed Step Six: Determine the Options List all possible actionable options Weigh the cost/benefits of each option Seek out additional points of view Step Seven: Select a Course of Action

1) Remove the least desirable option. 2) Remove any which you can not put into action. 3) Remove any options which break the values systems of those affected. 4) Recognize that your final choice will be impacted by your personal values. Step Eight: Put Your Plan Into Action Think about the outcomes with a sense that you have truly approached this ethical dilemma with the

best of intentions and to the best of your ability. Step Nine: Evaluate The Results Evaluate the cost for each person involved (client, family members, co-workers, agency, etc.) Consider submitting your most difficult cases to an ethics review board for feedback.

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