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How to Make Ethical Decisions
by Jon Kimes

I am a strong believer that most people want to do the right things and as such we value, at an organic level, ethics.  Ethics has been described as the study of moral standards and how they affect human conduct.  Some people have an innate sense of ethics but from my experience most do not.

Here are six principles* which, when evaluated, are simple and effective and they can easily be applied to the dog fancy and the decisions we are called upon to make on a routine basis.

The six principles which comprise ethics are:
1)    Autonomy –> respecting an individual’s rights
2)    Beneficence –> the desire to do good
3)    Nonmaleficence –> the desire to do no harm
4)    Justice –> to ensure you treat equal situations equally but also ensure you treat unequal situations unequally.  In short, you must ensure your decision takes into account the whole situation.
5)    Fidelity –> loyalty and faithfulness
6)    Veracity –> saying what is true, not lying

With this composite list you should be able to analyze every ethical delima and determine the correct course of action by analyzing the impact of each of the six elements and how they act upon the outcome.


*Rick Cohan speech called, “Organizational Ethics, Bioethics and Compliance.”





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