Staging An Ethical Decision-Making Process

ethical decision making process

Ethical Decision Making is an interesting concept. The dictionary definition of this word is “existing by virtue of individual moral and social interests”. What does this mean to a business or an organization?

Well, let me begin with the end result. This would be a company that builds you a product that meets all of your ethical standards and still makes a profit. However, what if you found out that the company built the product using slave labor? Would you support them or sue them? Will they lose their business, subscriptions, and advertising? Do you see how easy it would be for there to be no ethical decision making process?

The Company May Include D&D Values

A person sitting at a table

A company may include in their product line ethical D&D values, however, if they violate these values, the customer will not support them. Therefore, if the company sells a car with seat belts that have been chewed on then they may include in their ethical decision making process that a car that has been abused cannot be safe. What if a company decided not to perform an air bag review and if a child was injured and their parents sue them, the company may include in their policy not to sell cars that have been involved in a car accident with airbags. Can you see how easy it would be for the unethical company to avoid any responsibility? How many times has this happened that you have either seen on TV or read about in the news?

Businesses and organizations need to address ethical dilemmas when they arise. An easy way to do this is to assign a single person or team to be responsible for the ethics considerations. The focus of that person should be on determining whether the organization or business is being conducted in an ethical way. Does the product have a moral problem? Does the price tag give cause for concern?

How To Address Ethical Dilemmas

A man doing a trick on a counter

One way to address ethical dilemmas is to use the No-TCS policy as part of the standard operating procedures. The No-TCS policy is a standard that companies can use as part of their ethical decision making process. If the company finds themselves in a situation where they must make ethical decisions and they must choose between doing the right thing and the unethical thing, they must follow the standard. This policy requires that companies provide a detailed explanation of the reasons for choosing one over the other and that they provide a detailed description of how they arrived at their decision.

Another way to address the ethical decision making process dilemmas is to put the company’s core values into the mix of the decision making process. The core values of the company essentially become a set of guideposts that will help managers choose the right solutions and the right ways to get there. These decisions will become part of the core values of the company and will become the basis for everything else that happens. For example, a company might decide to sell its plus size dresses under its own label instead of through a designer. The core values of the company will become the reason for the decision to sell the dresses and will guide the decision making process from there on out.

In order to address the most common ethical dilemma faced by doctors, it is important that a clinician to develop a baseline of care about the types of solutions available. A good clinician has developed an understanding of the different ways that ethical dilemmas can arise and has a baseline of specific standards that they will go by when evaluating different interventions. When a clinician comes across an ethical dilemma, they should first discuss the situation with their patient, asking them what they would like to do in the situation. From there, the clinician can develop a list of possible solutions, using their own standards as the guideposts. This list should then be shared with the patient so that they have a variety of options to consider in their search for the best solutions.

Bottom Line

In the ethical decision making stage of the process, the clinician must avoid becoming too attached to any particular solution. While they may believe that the solution they have drawn up is the best option, it is at this point in the evaluation stage where loyalty should be separated from decision-making. The decision should be left to the professional. At this point, the clinician must take into consideration how their own interests will relate to the interests of the patient, and in many cases, they must withdraw their offer if they feel that it is not in the patient’s best interest to participate in the recommended intervention.

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