Identifying Courses of Action

James C. Raines and Nic T. Dibble

in Ethical Decision Making in School Mental Health

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780199735853
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863457 | DOI:

Series: SSWAA Workshop Series

Identifying Courses of Action

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Either-or dilemmas reduce the capacity of clinicians to manage ethical predicaments. Wise practitioners generate multiple courses of action prior to making a decision. It is important to consider the possible consequences to each course of action that is identified, including for all stakeholders. An important way to evaluate these different courses of action is to consider their congruence with commonly accepted moral principles. When working in pupil services, a professional's primary responsibility is to the student, however, there are also responsibilities that the practitioner has to the other stakeholders. Clinicians can help students improve their moral development by engaging them in ethical decision making, thus collaborative decision making should be the norm. In doing so, however, clinicians should assess the student's readiness to participate in ethical decision making. If students are too young, immature, cognitively delayed, or suffering from a mental illness, the practitioner should ensure parents are partners in the process.

Keywords: collaborative decision making; ethical predicaments; moral development; student readiness

Chapter.  9291 words. 

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