We seem to be living at times where Ethics, Morality and Integrity are not prioritized. Here are some easy to follow steps to make ethical decisions.
1.Recognize an Ethical Issue
• Could this decision or situation be damaging to someone or to some group? Does this decision involve a choice between a good and bad alternative, or perhaps between two “goods” or between two “bads”?
• Is this issue about more than what is legal or what is most efficient? If so, how?
2. Get the Facts
• What are the relevant facts of the case? What facts are not known? Can I learn more about the situation? Do I know enough to make a decision?
• What individuals and groups have an important stake in the outcome? Are some concerns more important? Why?
• What are the options for acting? Have all the relevant persons and groups been consulted? Have I identified creative options?
3. Evaluate Alternative Actions
• Evaluate the options by asking the following questions:
• Which option will produce the most good and do the least harm? (The Utilitarian Approach)
• Which option best respects the rights of all who have a stake? (The Rights Approach)
• Which option treats people equally or proportionately? (The Justice Approach)
• Which option best serves the community as a whole, not just some members? (The Common Good Approach)
• Which option leads me to act as the sort of person I want to be? (The Virtue Approach)
4. Make a Decision and Test It
• Considering all these approaches, which option best addresses the situation?
• If I told someone I respect-or told a television audience-which option I have chosen, what would they say?
5. Act and Reflect on the Outcome
• How can my decision be implemented with the greatest care and attention to the concerns of all stakeholders?
• How did my decision turn out and what have I learned from this specific situation?
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