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EDMF2

Assessment: Make sure you have all the facts about the dilemma.This first step includes a question that relates to much of the dilemma: “Does it align with your ethical values and those of the surrounding culture?” Alternatives: Consider your choices.This second step asks, “Have you listed possible alternative choices?” and “Have you considered pros and cons for each possible choice? Analysis: Identify your candidate decision and test its validity.This third step calls for a considerable amount of critical thinking in response to questions, including “Will your candidate decision have a positive impact…?” and “Are you free from external influence…?” and “Looking back, will this decision seem like a good idea a year from now?” Application: Apply ethical principles to your candidate decision.This fourth step draws upon several of the dominant ethical theories. Utilitarianism, put forward by Aristotle and others, addresses the question, “Would your choice result in the greatest good?” The “golden rule” ethical theory, which is sometimes referred to as the ethics of reciprocity, is represented by the question, “Would your choice treat others as you would like to be treated? This theory appears prominently in many religions in the form of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Action: Make a decision.This fifth step includes the challenging questions. “Are you willing to accept responsibility for your decision?” and “Could you make your decision public and feel good about it?” These questions call for consequential evaluation, not just of the decision itself, but also of the resulting impact of the decision. This resulting impact, which could be emotional, social, and professional, could extend well beyond those directly involved in the dilemma.

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