Running Head: Ethical Decisions
The Impact of Ethics on Decision Making Essay
University of Phoenix Online
The Impact of Ethics on Decision MakingOrder now
Ferrel and Gardiner (1991) say there are two criteria to ethical choices on top of being legal. The first being; “One does not infringe on the basic inalienable human rights – such as life, freedom of speech and privacy, due process – recognized by our society (ethical formalism).” Basically stating the respect of others should be considered in all decisions. The second states each person should strive towards an increase in self-esteem and mental health. Maintaining self-respect should be thought of in the decision making process.
We all face decisions in every day life, some appear obvious and easy while others do not. People are always struggling with their ethics during the decision making process. There are those who do not how to decided which is ethical or not. I found an “Ethics Quick Test” from the Online Ethics for Engineering and Science page (2002), which provides seven things, to check in order to examine the ethical implications toward a person decisions:
1)Is the action legal?
2)Does it comply with your understanding of our values?
3)If you do it, will you feel bad?
4)How will it look in the newspaper?
5)If you know it is wrong, do not do it.
6)If you are not sure, ask.
7)Keep asking until you get an answer.
Even though this information pertains to a specific topic it can also be used in everyday life. Everyone should be able to look at a choice and answer these questions without hesitation.
When thinking of whether or not something is legal, one would need to look at all aspect of the word legal. Is this going to harm anyone, including ones self? There is also the issue of the decision being legal but it may not be ethical. For example: a woman who legally not responsible for a traffic accident but clearly in the cause. She stops in the road because she wants to get something out of her car into a building.
Not only does she turn her car off, she turns her lights off as well with no hazard lights turned on. The road has no room from the curb to the actual road for a car to pass without going into oncoming traffic. A second driver coming down the same road, not seeing her car sitting on the side of the road runs into her car. The person in the second car receives the traffic ticket and is sued for damages done to her car. The insurance company for this person ends up paying for the damages done to the lady’s car. Even though this is not ethical it was completely legal.
If the woman, in the parked car, had thought about the consequences of her actions she would have realized she was in the wrong and perhaps not have sued the innocent person.
Ferrel and Gardiner mention along with some decisions comes a price of short-term stress or a degree of conflict and pain. Many people battle the decision of whether their personal values outweigh what is legally right. As is most situations within the medical field. Knowing that each person has his or her own values and beliefs is one thing. It’s another to accept this fact though.
Within the medical field this is a conflict that arises often. By law, medical personnel must learn to put their own personal beliefs aside and abide by the wishes of the patients and families. If they don’t, the risk of being sued is high. Which is ethical though? Abiding the wishes of the patient or ones own beliefs? Many battle the “If I turn this machine off this person will die, it will be my fault.” This is a decision one should make prior to entering the field.
Perhaps the above number four, regarding the newspaper issue, may not be pertinent, but the issue raises a good point.
A better way of looking at it might be: If looked at from the perspective of others, how will it appear? What will the public eye think about the decision made? If a Senator .