As a healthcare practitioner, you will have to resolve ethical dilemmas that require you to integrate your own moral reasoning with that of all parties involved - patients, their significant others, and practitioners from within and outside of your discipline - and to temper this reasoning with the practical realities of the situation. You will need to look beyond your own values and work to facilitate an environment that promotes the critical exchange of ideas and collaboration among all involved. Skills and strategies involved in values clarification, communication, negotiation, mediation, and teamwork will serve you well as you work toward successful resolution of complex moral issues.

The ethical decision-making model you've learned here provides a framework for examining and studying ethical issues individually or as a group. Following this process will help you organize the facts and contextual paramaters of the dilemma, so that you can look at the situation objectively and choose a course of action based on logic, rather than emotions.

To test this process, reconsider one of the ethical issues from the Reflection section, or think about another dilemma you've faced. Working alone or with one or more of your colleagues, use this Ethical Decision-Making Worksheet to find resolution.