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Explained how you thought through and determined what is "right" and "wrong" (personally and professionally) in your own daily life.


Described the nature of the four ethical behaviors you have seen in yourself.

Identified an ethical "hero" that has served as your role model and explained his or her ethical characteristics.

Described how this "hero" has influenced your value system.

Explained your implicit ethical decision-making style, including how this course and your cultural heritage have served as influential factors.

Identified at least two professional/ethical areas where further development would be beneficial.

Suggested ways in which further development and/or training can be acquired.


















Determining Right and Wrong

Ethical autobiography 

Determination of "Right" and "wrong"

Many things takes place in the brain when we need to determine regarding what is right or wrong in our daily lives both personally as well as professionally. However, as per my thought process I always try to have a clear vision regarding which values are at play. There are times when I feel that there are no such opportunities when I can have the extravagance of long and careful evaluation of competing principles, in such cases I feel that my actions can be moral only if they are the solid results of my intentions to proceed morally to accomplish a selfish interest. Moreover, for me intellectual honesty is constantly a challenge, that goes on in my thought when I am determining what is wrong or what is right. I always accept that it is very easy to validate dishonesty by asserting compassion or some other good when we are simply in search to stay away from distasteful compassion. Another thing I do is that I try to give loose to those people with whom I differ. According to me, I feel that civilized people for their honest reasons can reach contrasting conclusions. Therefore, good ethics are the basic requirement in personal as well as professional daily life, which helps in successfully dealing with people as well as groups.

Elaborating on my personal experience, I had been only 22 years old when I first moved to the United States of America at the tender age of 22. My ethical principles have been strengthened by the strong values and principles that I had been taught in the loving catholic family that I was raised in. I would like to mention here that I have had a happy and content childhood and my principles and characteristics have been based on the personality traits and believes I developed during the lovely bringing up experience I have had. In addition, I would like to thank my family for the warm experience I have had; contrary to many unfortunate children that do not have the opportunity to have content and fulfilling childhood. It has to be mentioned that the recognition of right and wrong of the actions are a trait based on conscience and integrity. It has to be mentioned that these traits are developed early in the growing years and my childhood values have helped me build my conscience.

Personal Ethical Behaviors and Cultural Heritage


Ethical behaviors and cultural heritage has shaping the values:

The four examples of ethical behaviors that actually shape my values in daily life are as follows-

  • I always accept things that are different
  • I respect every other people
  • I am empathetic towards other human beings and successfully share as well as understands their emotions and feelings
  • I feel I am responsible enough regarding my commitments be it personal or professional

 Ethical behaviors seen in yourself:

Elaborating more on the nature of ethical principles that I have developments myself and had been exhibiting in my personal and professional life, I would like to mention that all these principles are directly influenced by the morality and ethics that I have seen in my parents. I can proudly state that my parents have been my role model all throughout my life for the strong values and principles they have adhered to at all circumstances. Even in the face of the most adverse situations, I have never seen my parents stray from the principles and the values of doing the right thing. A very fond lesson from my childhood had been have my parents have noticed me stealing from the cookie jar when I had been just 6 years old. They had asked me why I had not asked before taking out the cookie and I had very naively responded that there had been no one around so I took it myself. However, my parents laughed and told me that even if there is no one watching i am supposed to d the right thing at all times, so I should have found mum and asked her before taking the cookie. This very mundane detail had struck a chord with me, and ever since I had taken extra care to ensure that I do the right thing even if there is no one monitoring me, just for the sake of being ethically and morally correct at all times.

Professional/Ethical Hero 

Ethical "hero" 

The word hero defines any personnel with the tarist that sets them apart from the rest of the crowd, depending on the righteousness and justice of their actions and selflessness. The basic understanding of the word hero in our perception is anyone who does the right thing at all circumstances, swoops in to save the day, and never bows down to anyone or anything. Similarly, an ethical hero could be any personnel who has ethical principles and values at the centre of their conscience and exercises ethical and moral justice in every action they take. The personality traits of an ethical hero include the principles and ideologies that reflect self regulation and the ability to take divergent ethical path in any decision making scenario (Schlenker, Weigold & Schlenker, 2008). An ethical hero will have greater commitment to the ethical integrity, standards, believes, and will not compromise these principles regardless of the adversity of the situation. And most importantly, an ethic hero does not just follow a ethically correct and righteous path in life, he inspires and motivates anyone he might encounter to take the same path and take up similar commitment to the ethical principles in life. Any hero must have noble purpose, sacrificial selflessness and courage or strength to stand by his principles (Schlenker, Weigold & Schlenker, 2008). Similarly, an ethical will be anyone who has all the above mentioned characteristics and can align the ethical principles with each of the traits. Hence, an ethical hero will set up a benchmark in maintaining an ethical course of action in life and will be seen as a role model for the high ethical integrity, social justice and righteousness he will exemplify (Hannah, Avolio & Walumbwa, 2011).

Professional/Ethical Hero

Hero" has influenced your value system:

I would like to mention in this context, that all of us in life have had assigned someon as the role model in our lives; a hero that we had looked up to when we encountered any troubled situation, where we did not know what actions to take and how to be morally correct. This role model can easily be considered to be an “ethical hero”, guiding our actions and helping us become a better person that what we actually are. In my life, my ethical hero had been my grandmother and I can proudly state that she is the woman with a spine of steel and i had looked up to her all throughout my growing years, with the hopes of becoming a strong and as ethically correct like her when I grew up. She lost the biggest support of a child in life, her mother when she was just a child. Moreover, she had to take the responsibility of herself and raise herself to be a good human being. Later in life, where many would have fallen into the dark path driven by the despair of losing a parent and with no guidance, my grandmother had been strong enough to be have a family of three children. She had been a single mother and motivated her children to put education above everything else, she taught her children to be hard-working and above all be good human beings. Even after having a rough life, she had compassion and morale for the people in need, and I envied her ability to selflessly care for people she did not even know. She used to care for people living in the streets just for the sake of helping them, and her independence, selflessness and ethics had made her a role model in my eyes. According to the Jensen (2014), the integrity and ethics displayed by our role models define the ethical principles we develop in life. My grandmother taught me to be independent, compassionate and righteous by myself, she taught me to keep my ethics and morality and ethical integrity high, show mercy to the world, even if the world has not been merciful to me. And above everything, a good human being is defined by the choices made and actions taken, the passion for ethics and morality in my personality had been passed on to me by my brave and strong grandmother.

Influence of Ethical Heroes on Value System

Ethical Decision-Making style

The term ethical decision-making refers to the procedure of selecting and evaluating a wide range of alternatives that are consistent with basic ethical principles. Selection of the best ethical alternative is imperative while making important ethical decisions. Thus, the term ethics can be defined as the process of dealing with moral judgments and problems in cases where a dilemma arises (Forester-Miller & Davis, 1995). Moral or ethical dilemmas generally encompass situations where an individual is required to make a choice between two or more options. However, most often neither of the available options is found to resolve the problem in an ethically acceptable manner. The dilemma can most commonly be attributed to the fact that selecting or abiding by one option would lead to transgression of the other (Elwyn et al., 2012). According to research evidences, as well as my personal experience, it can be stated that psychologists and counselors most often face situations that need sound ethical decision-making ability (Thiel et al., 2012). The course helped me identify that there are a plethora of foundational principles that form the foundation of best ethical skills that can be demonstrated in practice. The major skills that I demonstrate, which in turn facilitates an easy decision-making are as follows:

  • Nonmaleficence- This concept of bioethics is imperative to professional development of healthcare students. The concept of nonmaleficence refers to the process of making all possible efforts with the aim of inflicting less harm and preventing all kinds of injurious behaviour towards patients. This helps in achieving good health outcomes. Effects of harmful behavior play an essential role during ethical decision-making (Thiessen et al., 2015). This basic decision making skill focuses on the concept that proving holistic healthcare services to patients does not necessarily involve inflicting pain upon patients. Thus, making patients suffer is not essential while treating them. Although administration of some pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions may increase pain severity, harmful actions towards patients should never be automatic (Matt, 2012). My upbringing and interaction with my family members have always made me upheld the property of nonmalificence in ethical aspects of providing psychological care. I always intend to focus on using my utilitarian logic, which allows me to ensure that benefits of the psychological interventions that are being applied should always balance against the harm that the patients are subjected to. I also consider that if the benefit gained by an individual is more, the act should always be considered as an ethical one, regardless of the little harm or pain that is making the former suffer. The fact that my family members inculcated in me the practice of helping people in distress forms the basis of my thoughts and perception on nonmaleficence.  
  • Autonomy- It refers to the capacity of an individual to make an un-coerced and informed decision (Thiessen et al., 2015). I consider it is the primary duty of all healthcare professionals to respect and safeguard autonomy of all patients who are being provided healthcare services. It is generally used to denote the process of allowing a person to make his or her decisions without the help or interference of others (Cole, Wellard & Mummery, 2014). Thus, my belief in patient autonomy forms the basis of ethical decision making skills. My parents, teachers and grandmother inculcated in me the idea of treating all people with respect regardless of their socio-economic background or other differentiating factors. Thus, I consider it most essential that a patient should be given due respect and his preferences or demands should be accounted for while providing psychological assistance. Furthermore, I also think it inappropriate for a physician or a psychologist to dominate one’s patients. Although the concept of paternalism is expected to bring good health outcomes and improves the overall wellbeing of a patient, most often it is found to interfere with the concepts of autonomy (Ivanov & Oden, 2013). Moreover, I hold the view that simply creating provisions that will allow all patients to take decisions for themselves will not facilitate improvement of health status in the long run. Due to the fact that most individuals seek assistance from psychologists owing to lack of necessary health information, I regard the process of educating patients  on the prevailing health conditions of utmost importance that would directly assist the latter in making informed healthcare choices.
  • Beneficence- This encompasses actions that are principally undertaken to benefit others. I uphold the concept of refraining onself from causing harm to others. The concept of beneficence is closely associated with nonmaleficence (Custers et al., 2012). I uphold the value of beneficence because my relatives, parents and peers made me realize that in order foster a good relationship with others, care should be taken to avoid all kinds of detrimental or baleful behaviour that hurts the sentiments of others. Moreover, all healthcare professionals should demonstrate acts of generosity that would benefit all patients during all possible occasions
    (Denny & Guido, 2012). Moreover, my upbringing also helped me realize that the primary objective of medicine is to promote patient welfare by removing existence of all possible harms.

Professional and Ethical Development

Two professional/ethical areas 

Professional and ethical development is imperative to a successful practice in future. Self-analysis helped me identify the areas where I fail to demonstrate adequate expertise, which in turn might create a negative impact on my performance. The 2 areas are as follows:

  • Personal therapy- While undertaking the course, I was able to realize that in order to improve the psychological state and mental wellbeing of clients, my priority should be focused on resolving the personal conflicts that create disturbances in my professional life. Failure to resolve personal differences often influence the ability of a psychological counselor (Gastmans, 2013). Self-exploration will enhance the clinical experience and will assist in better understanding the challenges and frustrations faced by the clients (Nissen-Lie et al., 2013). Furthermore, personal therapy will also provide the opportunity to display greater empathy for the patients and make them feel understood and wanted (Digiuni, Jones & Camic, 2013).
  • Confidentiality- During the classes, I was also able to realize that it is the primary obligation of all psychologists to take reasonable precautions regarding safeguarding clinical and other related information of their clients. I would ensure not to disclose any patient information without their consent, unless required. It is therefore the core duty of a medical professional to develop a sense of trust in the clients (Petrik et al., 2015).

Ways for Development and/or training 

The ways by which I can improve the aforementioned areas as follows:

  • Respecting the cultural, linguistic and ethnic preferences by interacting with co-workers from culturally diverse backgrounds will help me understand the ways by which I build an effective relationship of trust and loyalty. I will be diligent in ensuring that any patient information will not be uploaded online. Furthermore, thoroughly reading the confidentiality agreements of the healthcare organization will also allow me to develop the skill of protecting patient information. I also intend to enroll at training programs that will help me gain a sound understanding on the ways by which confidentiality can be maintained.

I intend to participate in short term courses and workshops that focus on development of active listening skills and non-verbal communication. Active listening will help in demonstrating an understanding of what the other person intends to communicate, thereby helping in conflict resolution. It will assist me to show concerns and respect towards others and will also relieve pressures of high emotions, thereby helping me to calm down.  Effective nonverbal communication will also help me portraying an appropriate body language that will make others understand that I display a willingness to understand the ideas and preferences of others. Proper facial expressions will help in avoiding miscommunication and conflict.

Reference:

Avey, J.B., Palanski, M.E., & Walumbwa, F.O. (2011). When leadership goes unnoticed: The moderating role of follower self-esteem on the relationship between ethical leadership and follower behavior. Journal of Business Ethics, 98(4), 573-582.

Cole, C., Wellard, S., & Mummery, J. (2014). Problematising autonomy and advocacy in nursing. Nursing ethics, 21(5), 576-582.

Custers, A. F., Westerhof, G. J., Kuin, Y., Gerritsen, D. L., & Riksen-Walraven, J. M. (2012). Relatedness, autonomy, and competence in the caring relationship: The perspective of nursing home residents. Journal of Aging Studies, 26(3), 319-326.

Denny, D. L., & Guido, G. W. (2012). Undertreatment of pain in older adults: an application of beneficence. Nursing ethics, 19(6), 800-809.

Digiuni, M., Jones, F. W., & Camic, P. M. (2013). Perceived social stigma and attitudes towards seeking therapy in training: A cross-national study. Psychotherapy, 50(2), 213.

Elwyn, G., Frosch, D., Thomson, R., Joseph-Williams, N., Lloyd, A., Kinnersley, P., ... & Edwards, A. (2012). Shared decision making: a model for clinical practice. Journal of general internal medicine, 27(10), 1361-1367.

Forester-Miller, H., & Davis, T. E. (1995). A practitioner's guide to ethical decision making. Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association, pp.25-79.

Gastmans, C. (2013). Dignity-enhancing nursing care: a foundational ethical framework. Nursing ethics, 20(2), 142-149.

Hannah, S. T., Avolio, B. J., & Walumbwa, F. O. (2011). Relationships between authentic leadership, moral courage, and ethical and pro-social behaviors. Business Ethics Quarterly, 21(4), 555-578.

Ivanov, L. L., & Oden, T. L. (2013). Public health nursing, ethics and human rights. Public Health Nursing, 30(3), 231-238.

Jensen, M. C. (2014). Integrity: Without it nothing works.

Matt, S. B. (2012). Ethical and legal issues associated with bullying in the nursing profession. Journal of Nursing Law, 15(1), 9-13.

Nissen-Lie, H. A., Havik, O. E., Høglend, P. A., Monsen, J. T., & Rønnestad, M. H. (2013). The contribution of the quality of therapists’ personal lives to the development of the working alliance. Journal of counseling psychology, 60(4), 483.

Petrik, M. L., Billera, M., Kaplan, Y., Matarazzo, B., & Wortzel, H. (2015). Balancing patient care and confidentiality: Considerations in obtaining collateral information. Journal of Psychiatric Practice®, 21(3), 220-224.

Schlenker, B. R., Weigold, M. F., & Schlenker, K. A. (2008). What makes a hero? The impact of integrity on admiration and interpersonal judgment. Journal of Personality, 76(2), 323-355.

Thiel, C. E., Bagdasarov, Z., Harkrider, L., Johnson, J. F., & Mumford, M. D. (2012). Leader ethical decision-making in organizations: Strategies for sensemaking. Journal of Business Ethics, 107(1), 49-64.

Thiessen, C., Gordon, E. J., Reese, P. P., & Kulkarni, S. (2015). Development of a Donor?Centered Approach to Risk Assessment: Rebalancing Nonmaleficence and Autonomy. American Journal of Transplantation, 15(9), 2314-2323.

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