Ethical Decision Making
Despite increase attention to ethics in organizations, empirical examples of ethical decision making are relatively far and few. Most health care organizations require employees to complete mandatory annual quiz on code of ethics but no follow-up training is in place to ensure adherence to ethical decision making process. Lack of available tools to do ethical self-assessment is main reason for the paucity of empirical examples of ethical decision making at health care organizations. Decisions based on ethical values are hard to make without first identifying red flags of our own ethical values. American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE) website provides excellent tools to do ethics self-assessment and opportunity to enhance ethical practice by developing specific action plan.
Before developing a specific action plan, it is imperative to understand three core definitions that can assist in making the ethics-based decisions:
• Moral Issue: A person’s action when freely performed can harm or benefit others (Velasquez & Rostankowski, 1985).
• Moral Agent: A person who makes the moral decisions may or may not recognizing that moral issues are at stake
• Ethical Decision: A decision that is both legal and morally acceptable to the larger community.
Using the above definitions and self-assessment tools available at ACHE website, I discovered few red flags of ethical values. I occasionally advocate the decisions based on the payer source. Second red flag was failing to make timely decisions regarding marginally performing supervisors and team leaders. I always thought that the second issue was attributed to my busy schedule and not related to ethical values. The fundamental objectives of health care profession are to ensure respect for the patients’ autonomy, do no harm and find the best treatment plan for all the patients. ACHE code of ethics also incorporates health care professional responsibilities toward the organization’s...