Our values, principles, and purpose give us an idea of what is good, right, and meaningful in our lives. They serve as a reference point for all possible courses of action that we could choose. According to this definition, an ethical decision is a decision based on thinking about the things we think are important and compatible with those beliefs. Ethics is the aspect of philosophy that deals with issues of human behavior. For health professionals, the Code of Conduct determines acceptable behavior for this profession, in compliance with and supported by legal standards. The Code of Ethics for Certified Case Managers also clearly outlines ethical behaviour for a case manager when dealing with patients (CCMC, 2015). The American Nurses Association`s Code of Ethics for Nurses defines ethics as “reasons for making decisions about how to act based on principles and virtues” (ANA, 2015). Second, there may be times when obeying the law would force us to act against our ethics or morality. A physician may be required to conduct a procedure that he or she deems unethical, or a public servant may believe it is his or her duty to disclose classified information to the press. Some philosophers have argued that a person`s conscience is more binding on him than any law, suggesting that the letter of the law is not an adequate substitute for ethical reflection. Not all laws may be ethical and not all ethical decisions are legal! Health professionals sometimes face a dilemma when it comes to balancing the two areas of ethics and law. Niemira, D., & Townsend, T. (2009).
“Ethical Conflicts in Rural Communities: End-of-Life Decision Making.” in Nelson, W.A. Handbook for rural health care ethics: A practical guide for professionals. Hanover, NH: Dartmouth College Press In my opinion, morality is not outdated. Everyone needs a starting point. It usually happens to your family, culture, family beliefs, and religion. When I was born Catholic and went to Catholic school, there was always a moral compass that I had to follow. Teaching was strict at school and at home. When I was about 12 years old, I began to question the morality of religion. There were situations, attitudes and death sentences that did not seem rational to me at school and at home.
That`s when I started thinking about a fairer system. At the age of 20, I began my search for more rational values, principles and goals. I became a Buddhist at the age of 21. That`s when I became more ethical. I realized that another person couldn`t determine my values, purpose, or thoughts. Even though it was more than half of my life, I still evolve in my ethics. Chaloner, C. (2007).
An introduction to nursing ethics. Nursing Standard, 21(32), 42-46. In the United States and most other democracies, laws determine how we will govern ourselves. Over the centuries, laws have developed on the basis of commonly understood societal concepts of right and wrong. Even now, the law continues to evolve to reflect not only our history, but also current ideas about how we want to be governed. Knowing that we can rely on the law gives stability to the country and to ourselves. However, this approach does not always suit the individual. A person who is morally and ethically opposed to abortion can never approve a law that gives a woman a choice. Their moral thermometer for the issues surrounding this issue will likely dictate their actions. They can`t go protest abortion clinics, but they can become a voter on a single issue. Conversely, if the person has strong moral convictions on an issue (e.g.
LGBT human rights), they will find like-minded people who use many means (political, media, protests, etc.) to advocate for social and legal recognition and codification of this value as a positive right. as defined by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan. It is very important to note that it is not easy to pass laws that are neither too specific nor too exclusive, as each case involving a particular patient is a unique circumstance. For this reason, laws currently offer a significant degree of flexibility in terms of decision-making by professionals, including nurses. By law, every health professional must strive to provide maximum care to each patient (Ogata, 2005). • Constitutional Law: The U.S. Constitution and state constitutions contain many provisions relating to the practice of social work. Examples include citizens` right to privacy and protection from unreasonable search and seizure (which is important in hospital treatment programs) and protection from cruel and unusual punishment (which are important in juvenile and adult detention centres).