A Question of Value
Health Progress. 1997 May-Jun; 78(3): 24-26, 32.
In faith-based healthcare, the scope of ethics reaches beyond clinical ethics-which, up to now, has been its primary focus-to encompass the entire culture of the organization and all its relationships. Consequently, sustained attention to ethics contributes to the life of, and adds value to, the organization. Ethics' role is to articulate the beliefs and values that are to be embodied in the organization's culture, given its fundamental commitments. Ethics devises methods for shaping and nurturing the culture, and has a role in periodically assessing the state of the organization's relationships, both external-with other healthcare entities, the community, and society-and internal-with employees and patients. Further, ethics shapes the relationships the organization's associates have with each other and with the organization. Attention to ethics encourages improvement in the moral quality of the interactions within the organization; provides an opportunity for moral growth; creates a climate in which ethical issues are dealt with, not ignored; and, over time, creates a community of moral discourse.
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