Got ethics?

I had hoped to do some blogging from the Alliance meeting going on now in San Francisco, but haven't found the time yet to write up my notes. In the meantime, here's a post from my co-blogger, Anne Taylor-Vaisey:

From the latest issue of Hastings Center Report:

Verkerk M, Lindemann H, Maeckelberghe E, Feenstra E, Hartoungh R, De Bree M. Enhancing reflection: an interpersonal exercise in ethics education. Hastings Center Report 2004; 34(6):31-38.

Abstract: There are no moral cookbooks--no algorithms for whipping up moral confections to suit every occasion. But more modest and flexible tools might still be useful for practical ethics. One te! am describes how professionals can be taught to use a framework for understanding moral problems.

Excerpt: To adapt to the new environment, a good professional must not only exhibit the technical proficiency that allows her to do things right-she must also do the right thing. She needs to be aware of her own professional norms and values; to be able to express them to her colleagues, her patients, and their families; and to work together with these other actors to provide ethically responsible care. In short, if professionals are to do the right thing, they must develop a refined capacity for moral reflection.

We have developed a tool for practical ethics instruction aimed at helping professionals to do just that. The tool has been designed to be flexible enough to be used not only in medicine, but also in a number of other venues, including business, architecture, journalism, and the like. While resources featuring the idea of reflection have p! roved popular in professional ethics education, (1) ours differs from them in that it is based on an expressive and collaborative conception of morality in which responsibilities are negotiated through narrative.


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