“It is always the right time to do the right thing." – Martin Luther King Jr.
What is Ethics?
Ethics is a system of moral principles that guides us in making ‘right’ or ‘good’ choices and being able to explain why we made one choice over another. Through the lens of ethical principles, we can better decide what is good and positive for our lives and society.
What is an ethical dilemma?
An ethical dilemma is when values or duties pull us in different directions.
An example of an ethical dilemma is when health care teams are balancing the rights of the individual and the rights and safety of society.
Another example could be when you want to be honest with someone, but are worried that the truth may hurt them.
Why you may want help from an Ethics Representative:
- Feeling uncomfortable about a decision or course of action
- Being faced with more than one possible option and not knowing which is best
- People disagreeing about what should be done
- Feeling that someone has been treated unfairly
Ethical issues in health care may include concerns with:
- Access to care or treatment
- Sticking to recommended treatment or living at risk
- Advanced Care Plans
- Beginning-of-life care or end-of-life care
- Capacity (ability to understand and choose things)
- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
- Conflict of interest
- Conscientious objection
- Diversity and cultural sensitivity
- Duty of health care providers
- Giving permission for health care providers to care for you
- Justice, equity and human rights
- Medical assistance in dying
- Moral distress (feeling something is preventing you from doing the right thing)
- Priority setting and resource allocation
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Patient’s right to decide
- Difficult decision making
- Withholding or withdrawing of treatment