Implementing the Decision

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

Implementing the Decision

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There is an important difference between “managing” the ethical predicament, rather than “resolving” it. Managing a problem does not mean that we can necessarily prevent all negative outcomes whereas resolving a problem implies that it can be reconciled to everyone's complete satisfaction. Prior to implementing a course of action, practitioners should subject it to five tests: the Golden Rule, the fiduciary relationship, generalizability, publicity, and universality. Regardless of the decision, some stakeholders will be unhappy so it is important to be able to justify the decision. Criticism can be managed by focusing on three strengths: protection of the student or others from harm; handling the present crisis; and focusing on the positives of the situation such as the fact that the student confided in a trustworthy adult. Finally, it is important to document the ethical decision making steps before implementing the decision.

Keywords: documentation; ethical tests; fiduciary relationship; generalizability; Golden Rule; justification; managing criticism; publicity; universality

Chapter.  6846 words. 

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