Opening for week 2

Opening for week 2

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.

  1. 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.


4 thoughts on “Opening for week 2

  1. jackiewong88 says:

    Hey Marna, this will be my attempt on differentiating those two words. I think simply put, morals is what lies within us and ethics is a system of principles that guide our conduct?


    • Marna says:

      That is what I’m thinking, and have been trying to get a gap between patients to put in more, but I did like the table idea 😉

  2. […] the view on Science and moral questions on the week 2 page and read the page highlighted in Marna’s post which clearly explains the difference between ethics and morals.  A quick google for moral ethics […]

  3. Michael Rowe says:

    Hi Marna. For me, morals are the ever-changing social rules about what a community decides is OK, and ethics is an attempt to get to a set of rules that determine “good” and “bad” no matter what the context. An example would be that a few hundred years ago, the social and legal norms of certain civilisations would have made paedophilia a perfectly acceptable activity. According to the moral sensibilities at the time, having intercourse with a child as OK. On the other hand, a system of ethics is about trying to come up with a framework that might say that, regardless of what the social and legal norms are, paedophilia is always wrong for a variety of reasons. I think that ethics is about trying to get to the root of good and bad, which holds true for the majority of people (and animals). It’s about trying to find a universal standard whereas morals are more flexible and are based on what the community says is right and wrong.

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