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

Following Your Ethical Compass

Following Your Own Ethical Compass:
Avoiding Law-Based Mindsets, Risk-Management Mindsets 
Anxiety-Based Behavior

We waste a lot of energy and create a lot of unnecessary anxiety when we adopt a solely risk-management position, because it leads us to focus on on possible risks to ourselves.  Instead, we must give priority to an ethics-based mindset which leads us to focus on avoiding the risks to patients — which is the best risk-management strategy, anyway!  So how can we hone our own ethical compass?


  I. Clarifying Your Profession’s “Ethical Floor”

II. Determining Your Own “Ethical Ceiling”

A. Considering Available Professional Recommendations
B. Weighing & Choosing Personal Options Beyond Those Recommendations

III. Constructing Clear Policies That Fit Your Own Practice

A. Policies in Private Practice
B. Policies in Group Practices
C. Policies in Agencies & Organizations

IV. Recognizing & Avoiding “Law-Based” Mindsets

A. Learning Relevant Laws
B. Learning to Place Laws Into Ethical Context

 V. Recognizing & Avoiding “Risk-Management” Mindsets

A. Focusing on Preventing Risks to Patients Instead of Risks to Self
B.  Dealing With Anxiety About Complaints or Malpractice Suits

VI. Developing Strategies for Maintaining the Ethical Focus

A. Regularly Reviewing/Assessing/Revising/Updating Your Policies & Practices
B. Consulting and Collaborating With Others Who Share Your “Ethical Ceiling”