A Few Final Thoughts
Written by: Aimee Zellers
This is my last blog post, many thanks to anyone who read them. I am moving my career in a new direction but have enjoyed every minute of my time with ICB. Typically, I write about new health technologies and ethics, but today I want to take some time to reflect on why we study ethics at all.
When one asks another person whether they think they are an ethical person the response you often get is: “Yes, I’m an ethical person, I try to make good decisions.” And in my humble opinion, most people are decent and try to do the right thing in most situations. However, there are times when it’s very difficult to ascertain the “right” decision or course of action.
In making these decisions we use value judgments and we use them every day, not only in healthcare but also in our personal daily lives. Value judgments include ethical considerations, however when you ask the average American to explain why or how they made their decision they often have difficulty articulating their line of reasoning or rationale, most of the time they come back with “well it’s what I thought was right.” We need to understand the reasons for the decision we make, and moreover, we need a better understanding of ethics so we can make better decisions.
The fact of it is, while our personal disposition and play a role, decisions about right and wrong should not always be based solely on our personal convictions. There are strong arguments, legal precedent, and case studies on which to base decisions, and these are often left unconsidered in daily life. If we want to make good decisions we should consider more than our own personal convictions to ensure that we are in fact making the best decision (because more often than not our decisions impact others around us). We should go the extra mile to make additional considerations beyond our personal convictions.
Next time you are faced with a situation that requires value judgments and ethical considerations, relying on your personal convictions for a starting point is great but the situation may require additional considerations, make them