What are the dangers of conflict of interest?
Assignment: Week4 Ethical Responsibilities
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Week 4 discussion Ethical and Legal Issues Read one of the following. Stefaniak, M., & Mazurkiewicz, B. (2017). The importance of adhering to high standards of research ethics. British Journal of Nursing, 26(1), 62. http://proxy.chamberlain.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=ccm&AN=120706824&site=eds-live&scope=site (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Feeney, S., & Freeman, N. K. (2016). Ethical issues: Responsibilities and dilemmas. YC: Young Children, 71(1), 86. http://proxy.chamberlain.edu:8080/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edb&AN=114680496&site=eds-live (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. Questions for first article: Describe one reason for adhering to high standards in ethics. What are the dangers of conflict of interest? Questions for second article: Discuss the difference between ethical responsibility and ethical dilemma. Share an experience of ethical dilemma or moral distress in nursing today.
Is it an ethical issue?
As we have written in NAEYC books about professional ethics, when faced with a challenging situation in the workplace, the first thing an early childhood educator needs to do is to determine whether it is an ethical issue. Our experience tells us that this can be a difficult process, one that many are unsure about. The first question you should ask yourself is, “Does it concern right and wrong, rights and responsibilities, human welfare, or individuals’ best interests?” If you answer no to each of these items, the situation is not an ethical issue and you can handle it as you would handle any workplace concern. If you answer yes to any of the items, you are facing an ethical issue. How you respond to it depends on whether it is an ethical responsibility or an ethical dilemma.
An ethical issue: Is it an ethical responsibility or an ethical dilemma?
Over the years that we have been conducting workshops and teaching courses about professional ethics, we have found that early childhood educators do not always know the difference between an ethical responsibility and an ethical dilemma, nor are they sure about how each should be approached. To make this distinction clearer, we decided to use this March 2016 column to look at these two kinds of ethical issues.
Ethical responsibilities are mandates that are clearly spelled out in the NAEYC Code of Ethical Conduct—they describe how early childhood educators are required to act and what they must do
and must not do. The fact is, however, that instead of honoring these responsibilities, even well-meaning and conscientious early childhood educators are sometimes tempted to do what is easiest or what will please others. It is important to remember that when you encounter a situation that involves an ethical responsibility, you must follow the Code’s clear direction. The most important of the responsibilities spelled out in the NAEYC Code is Principle 1.1:
P-1.1—Above all, we shall not harm children. We shall not participate in practices that are emotionally damaging, physically harmful, disrespectful, degrading, dangerous, exploitative, or intimidating to children. This principle has precedence over all others in this Code.
You can be confident that when you have done the right thing, the Code is there to back you up. You can rely on it to help you explain why you made a difficult or unpopular decision.
It can be helpful to think of ethical responsibilities as being very similar to legal responsibilities in that they require or forbid a particular action. And sometimes legal and ethical responsibilities are the same—for example, mandating the reporting of child abuse.
When you determine that a situation involves ethics and you don’t think it is a responsibility, it is likely to be an ethical dilemma. A dilemma is a situation for which there are two possible resolutions, each of which can be justified in moral terms. A dilemma requires a person to choose between two actions, each having some benefits but also having some costs. In a dilemma the legitimate needs and interests of one individual or group must give way to those of another individual or group—hence the commonly used expression “on the horns of a dilemma,” describing the two-pronged nature of these situations. The example of an ethical dilemma we often give is the case of the mother who asks a teacher not to let her child nap at school because when he sleeps in the afternoon he has a hard time falling asleep at night. The teacher must choose between honoring the mother’s request, which may have a detrimental effect on the child, or refusing the request, which will have a negative impact on the mother.
Ethical dilemmas are sometimes described as situation that involve two “rights.” In the case of the nap, the early childhood educator can conclude that it is morally right to allow a child who needs a nap to nap. But it is also right to keep the child from napping to help a busy mother keep the child on schedule.