- Center for Ethical Practice - https://centerforethicalpractice.org -

Choosing an Ethical Decision-Making Model and Teaching it to Others

A Step-By-Step Guide to Ethical Decision Making

This workshop will introduce several ethical decision-making models and will use hypothetical case vignettes to illustrate how they might be used in various settings. Participants can practice using them in preparation for adopting one for use in their own practice or when supervising, training or consulting with others.


INTRODUCTION: Why Use A Formal Model for Making Decisions?

I. Models for Consideration

A. Knapp & VandeCreek (2006) – 5 steps

B. Forester-Miller & Davis (1996) – 7 steps

C. Mattison (2000) – 7 steps

D. Haas & Malouf (2005) – 10 steps

E. Koocher & Keith-Spiegel (2008) – 10 steps

F. Pope & Vasquez (2007) – 18 steps

G. Fisher (2005) Combined Model – 4 stages, 14 steps

II. Model for Resolving Conflicts Between Ethics and Laws

A. Knapp, Gottlieb, Berman, & Handelsman (2007)

III. Circumstances for Using an Ethical Decision-Making Model

A. The Ethics Code and laws are silent on the matter

B. The applicable ethical standard seems vague, requiring professional judgment

C. The Ethics Code conflicts with the law or your agency’s policies

D. You believe you have “Supererogatory Duties” that may apply

E. You have personal values you believe should be considered in the decision

IV. Trying Out Each Model With A “Hypothetical” Dilemma

V. Choosing A Model For Your Own Use

VI. Testing Your Model Using Dilemmas From Your Practice

VII. Teaching Your Model to Others


Educational Goals:
(a) Describe the steps in one or more models for ethical decision making.
(b) Indicate which model might be most helpful for your own purposes or for teaching others.
(c) Practice using your favorite model with clinical dilemmas and
(d) Decide how you might teach it to others.