Are morals and ethics the same thing?
Finally a chance to complete. Having read quite a few of the posts now (being a week late) I think I may be more succinct with my views.
- How has your own sense of morality been informed? What continues to inform it?
As with jackiewong88 and wendywalker I believe that age and background have biased my moral view as when I was young I would be able to say yes there were definitive black and white lines of right and wrong and morals and ethics would be the same. As I have aged I have meet more people, seen more things and have established distinct grey areas where I would say that my morals may not gel with ethics and vice versa. I have many patients that are strongly christian and have been told by them to advise locations of prayer rooms to other patients as they cured the them, to me I work with the assumption that their beliefs and my beliefs should not be forced on others. I will not advise patients I do not believe pray is curing them but I will not stop them from praying as I do not believe this is my place.
2. What is the relationship between belief and behaviour? How do our morals (what we believe is right) influence our behaviour (what we have to do)? and What is the relationship between your morality and professional practice? Can you think of any situations where your ethical treatment of a patient would be challenged by your belief system?
As Michael said this well in that ethics of your society and professional community may not influence your moral values but will probably influence your actions. As a professional I would hope that I could leave my beliefs at the door and treat each patient equally. I believe this is not only possible but required, I had been treating a patient for a few years on and off before being advised they had a dubious history which did cause a change in my opinion of them and this concerned me. On my next session with them I was concerned I would not treat them the same however I realized that even with knowledge of their past this person needed to be treated and if I couldn’t treat them as I had as an individual in pain I would need to referrer them to another practitioner as I wouldn’t want my bias’ to effect any individuals out come. This was what we learnt as part of our training – a patient or a practitioner who feels “uncomfortable” has the right and should be referred to someone else in some ways I would say our training reinforces moral courage.
I strongly agree with Chantelle van den Berg “beliefs and opinions are with regards to my religious, spiritual, cultural or societal upbringing and experiences, has no place in the relationship with my patients”
Am I perfect? of course I am in my own mind. No, perfection is what we strive for but as we evolve our values, morals and ethics change (new ethical codes are printed yearly for PT’s in NZ) if we were perfect there would be no change.