Ethics and Morality in Disability Practice.

I sometimes wonder about ethics and morality in our workspace. Often I witness an ends justify the means approach to practice ( a bastardisation and misinterpretation of the original quote) and whilst it’s not possible to prescribe ethics and morality in a workplace other than by setting the example, it is possible to start a conversation so that staff have a better understanding of their worldview and how it impacts on those around them and in particular those that they serve. Kant wrote “A human action is morally good, not because it is done from immediate inclination – still less because it is done from self interest – but because it is done for the sake of duty”. That in itself raises the issue of duty of care. To whom do we owe a duty of care and indeed is it evident in disability employment practice or for that matter in any area of disability practice?

If you can have this discussion with staff, I’d suggest you’d go some way to improving practice and for the client, better outcomes.

I always start my ethics classes by asking students whether they’d eat their cat. Some are aghast at the thought of it, some consider the implications and some really get involved in the discussion from an ethical and moral perspective. Might be an interesting way to start the conversation in your workplace!

About Peter Smith

Disability practitioner at Praxis Disability Consulting, PhD researcher - Sydney Medical School, Research affiliate - Centre for Disability Studies, Sydney. Lecturer in Counselling and Case Management - ACAP. Counsellor and Psychotherapist at Praxis Counselling and Therapy. Interests: Disability employment, person centred practice, self determination theory, existential therapy, personal counselling
This entry was posted in developmental disability, disability, disability employment, employment, intellectual disability, person centred employment practice, professional development and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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