A Systems Approach to Ethical Problems
Ethics and Behavior. 1991; 1(2): 129-143.
Codes of professional ethics and cases designed to teach ethical decision making are written for individual professionals and ignore the systems level of analysis. They typically employ a lineal view of causality and overvalue placement of blame as a component of ethical problem solving. This article takes a systems approach to ethical problems and identifies aspects of systems that promote or impede ethical decision making. Psychological abuse of children is used as an example of a problem requiring a coordinated, systemic response to ethical issues such as autonomy, privacy, and confidentiality.
Autonomy; Case Studies; Child Abuse; Children; Communication; Confidentiality; Decision Analysis; Decision Making; Ethical Analysis; Ethics; Family Relationship; Goals; Health; Health Personnel; Information Dissemination; Interdisciplinary Communication; Law; Law Enforcement; Lawyers; Mental Health; Patient Care; Privacy; Professional Ethics; Psychological Stress; Psychology; Social Workers;