Which then brings us to the idea of,
you know, our own moral compass.
So we've talked about, you know, we all have
our own cultural background that we come from,
that we'd learned from
Those innate and culturally constructed systems
that generally help us to manage moral challenges.
So, you know, finding our true north
of how we should handle a situation.
And that's generally been developed in a broader
wisdom, you know, there may be a tradition of values,
principles, codes, practices that we learned
from our parents, from our family members,
from our larger culture, might be religious
tradition or other things that have sort of said
"This is how you should behave
in a particular circumstance."
And that moral compass is going
to be reflected in the character,
you know, our personality
that we develop over time.
It will matter in terms of our decision-making
so it might be our, you know,
first way to approach a situation is
this is how I would make a decision
based on my own morality that I've
learned from childhood onward.
It also means that it gives us agency, you know,
being a moral agent to make these decisions,
do these actions, how
we behave in general.
It also might mean that there is responsibility, you
know, so whatever we said as our moral compass,
we have a responsibility
to try to adhere to that.
And then it influences
So, whether that's in our personal realm with our
intimates and, you know, our friends and family,
how we interact with them in terms of
good and bad, right and wrong actions,
what we should or should not do in
maintaining those relationships,
but it also means for the healthcare professional
when they're in relationship with a patient
or the patient's family or both that they use
their moral compass to help guide their actions.
Which then brings us to the
idea of moral development.
So, there are 4 stages of moral
development or becoming morally mature.
The first is going to be moral sensitivity,
which might be informed by your moral compass,
but it's this idea that you recognize
there's an ethical dilemma.
So you see that there is a problem, you know, there
is these 2 conflicting approaches or assumptions
and you know that they exist and how
to figure out a way to reconcile them.
In the medical realm, you know, when we're
taking care of patients, moral sensitivity
first starts when we recognize
the suffering of another person.
So once we become aware of their suffering, that
generates in us a feeling of empathy towards them
and wanting to help them
through their suffering.
So that in in of itself just the fact of illness and the
suffering that it entails creates a dilemma, you know.
We want to try to help them, we need
to figure out a way to do that,
we empathize with their condition, we
have the moral sensitivity to then say
"Okay, I must act to
take care of them."
We then have to discern well how we're going
to act and so that requires moral judgment.
We first of all have to identify and weigh all
of the relevant aspects of the situation.
What is morally relevant in this
circumstance in terms of, you know,
do we apply principles, do we apply virtue
theory, do we think about the ethic of care?
All those may be morally relevant to
handling this particular dilemma.
We think through it, try to identify
all possible solutions, you know,
just as a clinician creates a differential diagnosis when
they're thinking about, you know, a symptom complex.
And you know what could the
person have as their diagnosis,
we think of all the list
of possible diagnoses.
The same thing here when we're doing moral judgment
we have to think of all the possible solutions.
Based on, you know, using our, you know, structured
approach when we're doing the systematic approach,
we're then going to say "Well, there's one preferable
action that we grounded in ethical theories and principles,
all these approaches that we've
talked about with ethics."
This is the ethically
We should do this one as opposed to
any of the other possible solutions.
You then need to have
So if you're going to
be morally mature,
you have to be motivated to then do the
action that you think is the right action.
Not just identifying the right action,
but actually following through on it.
So, a moral agent will make a decision to
act, you know, despite the consequences.
So even sometimes when the right action
may have bad consequences for yourself,
maybe repercussions in
terms of your behavior.
But if you think it's the right thing to
do, you have to have the moral courage,
the motivation to follow
through on that action.
And if you don't, if you are,
you know, mired in in action,
if you leave that problem unresolved,
that's going to create moral distress.
You're going to feel the emotional
reaction of not doing the right thing.
So then the last aspect of being morally mature
is that you follow through with moral action.
So you implement the course of action in line
with your commitments whether those are,
you know, from things you learned from your
moral compass, from your cultural background.
If it's things that you've
learned from your profession,
the professional codes and guidelines that have been
instilled in you as you develop professionally,
whatever those commitments are that
you implement, that course of action.
The core goal of all that is to
maintain your moral integrity.
So being whole as a person so that
you can then be there, you know,
for the next dilemma or the next patient that you have
the perseverance to follow through on the action,
recognize, you know, similar to with the ethic of
care that that has effects on your relationships
and you want to maintain the trust
that the patient has on you
so you have to maintain your
integrity to adhere to the trust
that the patient has placed in you that
you will do the right things for them.