Ethical Decision Making

One confusing process that everyone encounters everyday is ethical decision making. People may not notice this but it is constantly being used.

Any discipline is greatly affected by how people utilize decision making and how they incorporate ethics in that process.

Businesses, medical issues, political issues are only some of the genres where this could apply. But what does it take for a decision to be ethical?

Experts say that if a decision is morally and legally accepted by the larger community, then that decision is ethical. The questionable term in that definition is the word ‘legally’.

There are some ethical decisions that might not conform to the rules and regulations of the government but may still be classified as morally and ethically correct. The term ethics is used to describe a set of standards and principles which dictate how a person acts and behaves.

All persons with strong characters live with their own code of ethics. People make decisions every single day. These decisions might differ from each other but most decisions are chosen to do what is right.

A person’s set of principles may differ from another person’s views. This is because of the influence that the person acquired while growing up. Family is one very great source of principles. Culture and religion may also dictate a person’s set of standards. Experience is one of the best ways to learn about ethics too. Through experience, people will realize the effect of a decision to themselves and to other people as well.

Professionally speaking, a formal code of ethics is usually rolled out by companies to assist employees in their decision making dilemmas. These codes are created by the company to make sure that everybody is treated equally and employees respect each other’s rights. Since ethical decision making is very helpful in the business level, it is imperative for companies to create an ethics team who will formulate a code of ethics.


There are also ways on how to effectively make an ethical decision. The very first thing to do is to identify if there is an actual problem. This is important so that you will be aware that this problem needs your attention. Then identify if it is an ethical issue or not. Relevant and accurate information must be gathered carefully. Remember, jumping into conclusions because of personal intuition is not what ethical decision making is all about. Evaluate all of the alternatives based on the information that has been gathered.

Progression of Ethical Decision Making

A person cannot just simply say that their ethical decision making skills have been learned from a book or from a speech of a powerful person. The skill in making ethical decisions is developed from the time you were a toddler until you become a mature individual. Making ethical decisions follows a certain progression where different phases teach an individual an important skill. The first phase of developing ethics is the preconventional stage. This is usually completed in childhood wherein More...

The Basics of Ethical Decision Making

People always decide on something every single day and the basis of decisions can be affected by so many factors. When people make a choice, they do not immediately think about what choice is right and which one is wrong because the initial phase of making a choice is always on how that choice can be benefit you. But majority of the time, people always make the right choice and eliminate the bad one based on the person’s set of More...

What is Ethics

In its simplest definition, ethics is all about doing the right thing. It is the philosophy about human duty, the rules on behavior as well as the duty of a person to stay honorable. Ethics usually reflects the acceptable standards of morals of people that they impose upon themselves. It is generally a type of contract a person has with the society or to the group they serve. The craving for power, greed and blind ambitions are among the factors More...

Ethical Relativism

The ethical judgments or principle which is comparable to a culture or individual is called the theory of Ethical relativism. This theory, when stated indefinitely is recognized by a lot of lay persons and philosophers. However, there are also philosophers who perceive this theory as false and they couldn’t believe that so many individuals are embracing it. Individuals who willingly entertain relativism displayed significant respects wherein ethics is related however mistakenly conclude that value-based ethics are subjective. People who reject More...

Factors Affecting Ethical Decision Making

Ethics is always related to knowing what is right and differentiating it from what is wrong. When people do ethical decision making, it is always necessary to choose what is right over the other choices. But there are certainly a lot of factors that may affect the ethical decision that a person is going to make. One of the factors that will really affect how a person makes an ethical decision is his or her own set of morals and More...

Ethical Decision Making in Hospitals

The medical field is one of the job groups that constantly use ethical decision making in their daily routines. When the lives and the welfare of the patients are at risk, critical thinking and careful deliberation of action plans are needed in order to come up with an ethical choice. Doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team are involved in the process but it is usually the attending doctor that has the final say on which decision More...

Influences in Ethical Decision Making

Making an ethical decision requires the person’s ability to differentiate what is wrong from what is right. But the idea of right and wrong is not uniform across all the individuals and this makes it interconnected to personal standards. As the person makes an ethical decision, he or she will employ the ethical standards that they know. A person’s standards of ethics can dictate how they make ethical decisions. And these standards are influenced by a lot of things. Ethical More...

Different approaches like Rights Based approach, Utilitarian approach, Common Good approach, Virtue approach and Fairness or Justice Approach can be used. After thorough thinking, make the decision. The process of thinking may take some time but making the actual decision should not be delayed. Longer periods of evaluating the problem will just lead to mental exhaustion which will hinder a person from thinking correctly. After the decision has been made, examine the effects of the choice that you have made. Reflect on the lessons that you have learned from the experience and apply it to the next challenges.

Also, think about how your decision would affect the other parties. Before choosing which decision to make, examine who will benefit and harm from this action. Always make sure that the final decision will end up reducing harm. Check your core values for accuracy. Are you sure that what you thought was right and wrong are correct? Do not be afraid to ask for help from a third party who is not involved in the process. A good test if you were successful in ethical decision making is the Golden Rule. The effect of your decision to others will also affect their decisions on you.

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