Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reflecting on Moral Habits

Rosemary Flanigan
October 14, 2009

This is teaching week for me—to medical students working on their Bioethics M.A. and to nursing ethics committee members. With the students, I want to show them how their moral sense develops and how we often argue with ourselves over those conclusions—or certainly with others about their conclusions. And that arguing is “doing” ethics if it is so framed and if it is good reasoning (thus a nose-to-nose look at logical fallacies).

My hope is that they know there is no judgment that cannot be challenged. We may still cling to it following the ethical reflection, but we’ll know why.

But with the nurses (and less time), I’m making them reflect on moral habits. After all, each of us is bundled habits (or bundles of bundled habits), and here again, we need to take some time to reflect on whether or not we are becoming what we hope to become.

With all the new docs entering the profession presuming on the aid of ethics committees and all the nurses knowing they are expected to be reflective in their profession, what a marvelous future ethics committees have—if they are constantly upgrading themselves. But that leads me to credentialing, and I’m not ready to take that subject on –not yet.

So give a whoop and holler that you’re part of the movement.

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