Week 11: Ethics and Personal Ethos

 We learned about ethics and personal ethos this week, and I find it very helpful as the class I am TA for (Principles of Human Services) also talks about professional ethics this week.

Our own personal ethics often come from religion, family traditions, education and social environment. Different people have different personal ethics and values. I never thought about or summarize my own beliefs or values before this week’s class, but after reading the articles for this week, I summarized some of my beliefs and values and my personal code of conducts and I find the article in Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy is very helpful .

In terms of personal benefit and social benefit, I believe that whether a person has made contributions to the society is a way of measuring the values of an individuals’ deeds and social benefit is more important than personal benefit.  I am sure that many people will not agree with me in this belief, but I think this comes from my early education in China, where we were taught to value county and the whole society more than our personal gains. 

For principle of benevolence, I believe that we should always help those in need and help others in pursuing their best interests when they cannot do so themselves. I think this value or believe that I hold really impact my decisions in life, and it is the reason why I transfer from public administration to study social work and gerontology. I want to help those in need, and improve the quality of life of older adults, especially older adults with dementia. I also believe that we should be honest and never harm others,  do not violate the law and acknowledge a person’s freedom and a person’s rights. These believes come from both of my education and also my personal experiences from my family. As I am in the field of aging, and do research work with the older adults with dementia, I really value their right to maintain self-autonomy and abilities to make decisions. 

I also learned that personal ethics differs from professional ethics, we are free to make choices for our own based on our personal ethics, but in the professional field, we should always follow the professional ethics and when it contradicts with our own ethics, we should always follow the professional codes.  Each major human services profession has it’s own code of ethics, and these codes are usually adapted into law by the states, with legal sanctions and penalties for violating them. Professional codes usually cover client rights, client protections, professional behavior, and professional relationships.  We should always treat clients with respect and dignity to build on client strength, and we should never have discrimination against anybody.



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