A man is moral if he conforms to the established practices and customs of the group in which he is. He is ethical if he voluntarily obligates himself to live in the light of an ideal good (Weiss, 1942).
Recently i encountered a situation which pushed me over the edge and got me questioning whether it is better to practice morals or ethics concerning the situation in a clinical practice.
My ability to practice ethics got tested in a way that i could never possibly think of, I was handed a patient by my clinician. After reading the patient’s medical history, i could not help but want to ask for a switch with one of the students within the same placement, all i could think of was myself and how my morals have never condoned something like this that i have discovered the file and i was not about to start dropping my morals over an ethical dilemma. All i could hear in my head was ‘ i am not going to conform’.
I approached my clinician, tried to explain why i was not comfortable with seeing such a patient but as you can guess that did not help in any way, at the end of the day i was there to help patients not to practice my morals based on how i was brought up. Right there on that moment i had to shut down everything in my head and remember that every patient has a right to be treated equally and their health comes first. Weiss(1942) stated that to be ethical one must voluntarily choose and pursue an
ultimate and universal good. And i can boast a little and say by the end of second week i was discharging my patient and i do not want to lie i felt good to my patient looking that good and ready to go back to the world.
This made me realize the importance of practicing ETHICS in my career and morals are good ALWAYS,but in cases where i engage with different people of different cultures and beliefs, ethics prevails!
Weiss,P. Morality and Ethics. The Journal of Philosophy,Vol. 39, No. 14 (Jul. 2, 1942), pp. 381-385 retrieved on April 3 2017 from: http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/2018625.pdf