Basic Steps to Personal Ethical Decision Making

Applied Ethics Case of the Month Club

National Institute for Engineering Ethics


Nine Basic Steps to Personal Ethical Decision Making

 Step 1:

Practice ethical behavior actively (initiate a personal ethical awareness training program), including definition of personal worldview and review of core ethical values.
        The ethical design professional is consistently ethical!

 Step 2:

Beware of "new ethics" programs - very little of true value is "new"; all of the necessary tools are already at your fingertips

 Step 3:

Define the ethical problem when it arises - ignoring the problem doesn't make it go away

 Step 4:

Formulate alternatives - avoid "first impulse" solutions without having extensive ethical awareness training and experience

 Step 5:

Evaluate the alternatives - are they ethical? am I the sole beneficiary? how would I feel if the roles or circumstances were reversed?

 Step 6:

Seek additional assistance, as appropriate - previous cases, peers, reliance on personal experience, prayer

 Step 7:

Choose best ethical alternative - the one that does the most good for all the right reasons

 Step 8:

Implement the best alternative - no initiative, no results

 Step 9:

Monitor and assess the outcome - how to improve the next time 

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