This book trains students of the caring professions, across health and social care, in the basic philosophical skills and knowledge needed to deal with the ethical aspects of their profession.
It shows why ethical education is required, and teaches the skills of reasoning that equip professionals to think critically about the theories and arguments used in ethical discussions. It demonstrates how we can be confident that we can rely on common moral ground; but it also points out how we need to recognise the influence of different world-views, and to note how, on some issues, these can lead us in starkly different directions. It explains relevant philosophical theories, and evaluates their strengths and weaknesses – particularly in relation to what is required for proper professional ethics. It shows how to employ the commonly accepted framework of four ethical principles – beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice. These various matters are then illustrated in two extended case studies, which focus on the problem of euthanasia, and the question of screening for disability and the value of human life.
Ethical Basics for the Caring Professions is designed for use on all health and social care and human services courses on ethics and values. It will also be of interest to academics and professionals working within these fields.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Basics
Chapter One: Why Ethics?
Chapter Two: Some Basic Logical Tools
Chapter Three: Is Morality Relative?
Chapter Four: Philosophical Theories and Professional Ethics
Chapter Five: Four Principles
Part 2: Applications
Chapter 6: Euthanasia
Chapter 7: Disability, Screening, and the Value of Human Life
Graeme McLean is Adjunct Research Fellow in Philosophy at Charles Sturt University, Australia.