The Importance of Critical Thinking and Ethical Decision Making on Social Work

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It is my belief that in order for someone in the social work profession to serve vulnerable populations it was intended to serve, it is imperative to use critical thinking and ethical decision making in tandem to achieve the optimal result. The balance is a delicate and often complex. It requires a close examination or critically thinking, of all the issues not just within yourself, but the community as a whole, the individuals within it, and the client population that the social work serves. The social work profession is built on the foundation that each individual has equal worth and individual rights to self determination. Some mistakenly believe that this means simply doing what is right, but then the decision making is not based on critical thinking and ethics but one’s personal beliefs and does not keep in guidelines with the ethical guidelines that governs social work practice. As stated on the web site for The Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University (2009): Making good ethical decisions requires a trained sensitivity to ethical issues and a practiced method for exploring the ethical aspects of a decision and weighing the considerations that should impact our choice of a course of action. Having a method for ethical decision making is absolutely essential. When practiced regularly, the method becomes so familiar that we work through it automatically without consulting the specific steps. To make critically thought out and ethically sound decisions, you should evaluate, analyze, and then implement the solution. A framework for ethical decision making was developed and is utilized to provide a guide for ease of use. This Ethical Framework is a product of dialogue and debate of Manuel Velasquez, ... ... middle of paper ... ...ker is in relation to her environment and human development might influence her decision as well. In order to arrive at a sound solution for ethical issues requires critical thinking and analysis. Marian Mattison, (2000) summarized: Keep in mind that the goal of sound ethical reasoning is not to reach the “right” solution but rather to rationally and systematically consider the ethical aspects of a case and to be clear about the basis on which the decision was made. This is best accomplished by applying critical thinking to an ethical framework. Keeping in mind that it is individual process and solutions arrived are dependent on the person doing the analysis and how her relationship to her environment and where she is in her life course. The framework gives a more conscious thought to analyzing an issue or problem through systematic methodology.

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