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The process of ethical decision-making
By Toni Cesta, PhD, RN, FAAN
Senior Vice President
Lutheran Medical Center
The ethical decision-making process is similar to the case management process and the nursing process. The steps include:
Clearly identify the moral obligations of the hospital and in your role as a case manager. Select the course of action that is most defensible. When in doubt, err on the side of the patient. This course of action is almost always defensible.
Most importantly, when you are unable to solve the problem, that is the time in which to call an organizational ethics consultation! The organizational ethics committee can review all the information you previously gathered and help in facilitating a decision.
Professional Codes of Ethics Specific to Case Management
Several professional organizations provide codes of ethical conduct. As a case manager, you should be familiar with them as they provide a structure and framework for your practice: