Practical Ethics for Psychologists: A Positive Approach by Samuel J. Knapp, Leon VandeCreek

By Samuel J. Knapp, Leon VandeCreek

Presents details on utilizing the confident ethics strategy in medical perform. information a five-step version for resolving moral dilemmas, together with sketches of moral and questionable habit. Covers themes similar to a number of relationships, educated consent, charges and monetary concerns, and psychologists in distinctive events. Softcover.

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Accurately predicting the consequences of every alternative action necessarily involves much uncertainty and requires much effort. A later formulation of utilitarianism, rule utilitarianism, focused on middle-range, intermediary, or instrumental principles that generally lead to happiness or well-being. Rule utilitarianism does not require a detailed happiness calculus to predict the outcome of all possible alternatives. It is assumed that certain acts, such as murder, stealing, lying, or deceit, which generally produce unhappiness, may be considered immoral without the need to do a happiness calculus.

Deontological theory is absolute in that it allows no exceptions to its absolute or categorical imperatives. However, Ross (1930/ 1998) argued that sometimes the most moral action requires breaking absolute rules. For example, according to Ross, at times it may be more moral for a psychologist to slant or withhold information if doing so upholds another important moral principle, such as protecting the patient from great harm. The major characteristic of ethical behavior in utilitarianism is that the actors are considering the consequences of their behavior on all affected persons.

The five-step model can be used to implement ethical decision making using different philosophical models. We describe it from the standpoint of principle-based ethics. The goal in a principle-based model is to reach a "good decision," which has the following features: (a) it is consistent with the values or moral principles of the psychologist in that there is sufficient reason to justify acting on behalf of one moral principle or norm rather than another; (b) the action has a realistic chance of success; (c) no morally preferable alternative is available; (d) the infringement of the offended norm is the least possible, consistent with the primary aims; (e) the psychologist seeks to minimize any negative effects of infringing on the offended norm or moral principle; and (f) the decision must be made impartially without regard for extraneous information (Beauchamp & Childress, 2001).

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