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Working Ethically Essay

Question 1

After watching the girl hiding behind you and knowing that she is a thief. I get caught to an ethical dilemma that either I should tell her followers or save her. I would not tell the angry mob that I have not seen the little thief. The reason why I am saving her is that I do not find her actions to be immoral. My justifying reasons include her confession, and the reason behind her action that is she has not eaten anything for a few days, and the fact that her circumstances compel her to do an immoral act. Otherwise, she would not have done that.

Steps to Solve Ethical Dilemma

            There are three steps to solve an ethical dilemma. In this scenery, I have solved the dilemma by following given three steps (George & Lynn, 2008).

Step 1: Awareness of your values

First of all, I recalled all of my values and norms that I regard most. This stage does not include changing one’s values instead knowing them and giving them regard. Lets’ say I appreciate honesty, decency, and politeness the most. In the given scenario the little girl was honest and upright with me, she told me that yes it was she, who stole the apple, whatever the reasons were. This stage is essential to recognise all of your values. I also consider stealing an unethical act that must not be done by anybody at any cost. But I know sometimes circumstances and situations are not up to the mark. Well, after getting aware of my values, I start having a conflict in valuing honesty and devaluing stealing behaviour. So I needed more information to remove further the dissonance occurring within me, so I moved to the step 2.

Step 2: Selecting the theoretical model

Ethical issues are classified into two group including consequential theories and non-consequential theories (Shaw & Barry, 2013). According to the school of consequentialism, the outcomes and consequences of one’s actions matter morally. According to this view, ends justify the means; that is an act is thought to be morally right based on the outcomes. Consequentialism states that whether an action is “right” or “wrong” depends upon the outcomes. This school of thought indicate that there is a standard by which one can quantify the consequences (usually “utility”), and endorse that the best technique is that builds utility. For consequentialists, the ends dependably do legitimise the means.

Then there is an extension of consequentialism that is the utilitarian approach, as per this approach choices and judgments are made according to the good for people as it says the greatest good is for a large number of people. This is the quite close consequentialist approach since this is excessively given the proposition that consequences decide the profound quality of some actions. As per this approach, if the outcomes are profitable for countless, then it is alright to hurt a couple of people. This approach is ordinarily guided by the processed points of interest or harms for activity in light of the experimental confirmation. Opposite of consequential theories are non-consequential theories, and the most common is the deontological approach (Shapiro & Meslin, 2001, p. 140).

Deontology states that whether an action is “right” or “wrong” depends upon the real theme behind the action. A large number of people have a view that there are certain actions that are wrong in their real essence and one can never justify the, for example slaughtering somebody, torment, theft etc. Deontological assumptions construct moral quality in light of specific obligations, or commitments, and claim that particular activities are naturally right or wrong, in themselves, regardless of the consequences. So this approach is based on the actions rather on their outcomes. According to this approach, a person must act according to the norms, values, and obligations that are by the moral principles. Another approach that is neither based on consequentialism nor non-consequentialism is ‘Virtue Ethics’ (Lau, 2010, 567; Walsham, 1995, 80).

The Aristotle’ virtue ethics theory centres on the development of a good character as opposed to moral principles. This school of thought view is to have a belief that having an honest character encourages idealistic choices. To act from righteousness is to act from some specific motivation, so the character of the person is important. To state that specific ideas are important for moral choices is to state that right consequences are based on right choices. A modification of virtue ethics was given by Stole who presented in his Agent-based virtue ethics which state that any action is considered right if it has a virtuous motive rather a vicious motive.

According to this approach, the motivation of agent is fundamental, and actions are considered true as they do not have any malicious intent. This approach is different from the last one as the former focuses on the agent’s character and this is based on the agents’ intention. Agent-based virtue ethics is solely based on the intentions of agent and according to which selecting whether an action is moral ‘right’, or ‘wrong’ depends entirely on the moral status of the motives and the intentions of the agent (vanZyl & DePaul, 2009, p. 105).

So, in this second step, I selected the agent-based virtue ethics.

Step 3: Using the problem-solving process

I had selected the agent-based virtue ethics to save the life of little girl. I do not deny the fact that the act which she has done was immoral but I looked at the intention and motive of her unethical behaviour. For me, she was innocent as she was orphan, and did not have enough money to buy an apple. Secondly, she stole the apple as she was hungry for few days.  For me she is not the culprit, in fact, the real culprits are those who are responsible for a person’s immoral actions. I would prefer lying the angry mob than to hand over the little girl to them that they’d cut-off her hands. I would prefer saving the little girl’s life than to make her accused criminal act that she was compelled to do because of her hunger.

Question 2

Job 1 is illegal as in the given ad of Job 1 the job is open for Middle-eastern (ethnicity), women (gender), aged 18-35 (age). Although it seems that it is the good way to recruit women by giving the opportunity to less advantage group. But in fact, it is positive discrimination which sugar-coated in ‘positive action’. It is against the Equality Act 2010 to discriminate anyone because of their sex, age, being married or be in a civil partnership, being a transsexual person, being pregnant or on maternity leave, being disabled, or on the basis of race, ethnicity, and nationality, religion, sex, belief or lack of belief, sexual orientation. Positive discrimination has not been precisely mentioned in the Equality Act 2010, but in actual it is considered favouring the disadvantaged or minority group automatically over the advantaged or majority group, without properly considering the merit. Positive discrimination can either be direct or indirect.

According to the s. 159 of the Equality Act 2010, an employer can treat a candidate with protected characteristics (sex, ethnicity, or age) positively regarding recruitment, selection or promotion than someone who is equally qualified by does not belong to the group of people having protected characteristics. It is at the discretion of employer that he thinks the group of individuals belonging to protected characteristics suffer a disadvantaged group in some particular way. Taking positive action is a good way to encourage them, but the employer must not allow having the policy to treat people favourably or unfavourably according to the case-by-case basis. A case of Kalanke was brought before the European Court of Justice (ECJ), and Marshall had a view that positive discrimination against women breaches the Equal Treatment Directive 2006/54/EC. In the given Job ad, there is no act or intention to treat the so-called minority group to have a positive action rather it is positive discrimination to mention the gender, ethnicity, and age characteristics; and positive discrimination is not allowed in the UK.

Job 2 is legal according to Equality and Diversity laws in the UK. The job is offering a Media & Communication opportunity to individuals with disabilities. Although it seems that it is positive discrimination brought about by the recruiting company. But in fact, it is not the positive discrimination rather is a positive action. The ‘positive action’ and is one of the Government’s ranges of measurement with an aim to end discrimination in the workforce. It is taken at two levels that are at the level of recruitment and promotion, whereas the other level is on training the staff.

Positive action is a good way of practice that many recruiting companies follow to increase the participation of the certain group of people with unique or certain characteristics. Equality Act of 2010 allows employers to take positive action if they think that a certain protected characteristic are limited in a certain workforce, so the law allows individuals to take this by recruiting a candidate having that particular protected characteristics. Let’s say promoting a female over the male into the workplace when the predominant employees are males. According to the Equality Act 2010, s. 158 it is lawful for an employer to take some positive action for the compensation to the group of particular protected characteristics for example to people with disabilities as in the given job 2.

According to this act, there are some separate provisions that allow the recruiting parties to recruit and promote individuals with protected characteristics. According to s. 159 of the Act, positive action is legal if it took to encourage the individuals with protected characteristics and prefer them over other comparative advantaged group of individual; secondly if it fulfils the people need who are sharing a protected characteristic and these needs are different than those who are not having the same protected characteristics; or to encourage individuals with protected characteristic to participate in such an activity in which the participation of those individuals is disproportionately low. In the given job 2, the positive action has been taken by the employed to recruit the disadvantaged group based on the characteristic of disability over the advantaged group of individuals having no disability.

Question 3

Professional Code of Conduct is based on the set of standard rules to promote best practice by protecting the public. These codes will describe the main goals of ABC Healthcare LTD (Hospitals & Healthcare) and will ensure that the staff is providing best quality services, with efficient care and support. This Code of Conduct describes the attitude, behaviours, and the rules and regulations which the people expect from the staff of ABC Healthcare LTD. As a staff member, you are bound to maintain the quality of services and responsibility that your conduct does not fall below the mentioned standards and guidelines. All the acts you perform at ABS Healthcare LTD should not provide any harm to the well-being and safety of people who are using healthcare facilities.

This Code of Conduct applies to you if you are working as staff at ABC Healthcare LTD. The intention of this code is not to limit the role of staff to follow this Code of Conduct only but to have a Code that is beyond some fixed criteria and generalised to all the roles where the staff is having contact with patients and people (AMHCA, 2010).

Given below is the Code of Conduct at ABC Healthcare LTD.

  1. Competence and Be Accountable

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Carry out your duties and tasks competently.
  2. Be honest with yourself and other.
  3. Be accountable for your every act.
  4. Be accountable for your every omission.
  5. Draw clear and well-defined professional boundaries with your patients and other people.
  6. Report any sort of yours and your colleagues’ action or omission so that the safety and the well-being of patients and people won’t be compromised.
  7. Show compliance with your authority.
  8. Consult your supervisor about any task you find yourself incapable of performing.
  9. Integrity and rights of people

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Treat patients with compassion and respect.
  2. Place the goals and the need for patients and people first.
  3. Maintain the integrity and dignity of patients and people.
  4. Take care that your acts and omissions do not cause any harm to the patients and people.
  5. Take all the feedback and complaints of the patients and people seriously.
  1. Collaborative work environment

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Value your and other’s contribution to the team.
  2. Respect the expertise of your colleagues and recognise their efforts to the team.
  3. Work constructively and co-operatively with your colleagues.
  4. Act reliable and trustworthy for your colleagues except your colleague has gone against the Code of Conduct.
  5. Act positively and openly with colleagues and the patients and people.

 

  1. Constructive communication

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Communicate effectively, accurately, and respectfully to colleagues as well as patients and people.
  2. Consult with your colleagues or supervisors when needed.
  3. Convey the intended care and support to the patients and people, and continue only if they show their valid consent.
  4. Must maintain accurate and open records of patients and people seeking health care services.
  5. Respect other’s thinking and so limits your competence, role, and knowledge when communicating with colleagues, patients, and people.
  6. Privacy and right to Confidentiality

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Respect the privacy of your colleagues and the patients and people.
  2. Disclose only the required information regarding the patients and people using healthcare services.
  3. Treat all the obtained information as confidential.
  4. Discuss issued of confidentiality with your supervisors if needed.
  5. Avoiding discrimination

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Not discriminate any colleague, patient and people based on age, sex, ethnicity, or any other such status.
  2. Respect the diversity at the workplace.
  3. Give equal opportunities to all the patients and people.
  4. Report all issues related to the discrimination immediately to your supervisors.
  1. Aim to improve quality

As a healthcare staff worker at ABC Healthcare LTD you must:

  1. Give your best in improving the quality of healthcare services.
  2. Guarantee up to date training regarding your area of expertise.
  3. Participate in training and professional development courses organised by ABC Healthcare LTD.
  4. Contribute positively and constructively to the work environment.

References

American Mental Health Counselor Association (AMHCA). 2010, Principles for AMHCA Code of Ethics Retrieved from http://www.amhca.org/assets/news/AMHCA_Code_of_Ethics_2010_w_pagination_cxd_51110.pdf

Big success 2008, “3 Steps to Solve an Ethical Dilemma”.Retrieved from https://biggsuccess.com/bigg-articles/3-steps-to-solve-an-ethical-dilemma/

Lau, C. 2010. A step forward: Ethics education matters! Journal of Business Ethics, p. 565-584.

Legislation.gov.uk. 2010, Equality Act 2010. [online]. http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=3017

Real Business, 2016, Positive discrimination in the workplace – The case for gender equality, https://realbusiness.co.uk/law/2016/09/02/positive-discrimination-in-the-workplace-the-case-for-gender-equality/

Shapiro, H., & Meslin, E. 2001. The ethics of international research. N Engl J Med, pp. 139–42.

Van-Zyl, L. & DePaul, M. 2011, Rightness and Goodness in Agent-Based Virtue Ethics. Journal of Philosophical Research, p 103-114.

Walsham, G. 1996 Ethical Theory, Codes of Ethics and IS Practice, Information Systems Journal, 6, 69-81.

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