A. Identify the potential value conflict in the case. State your position on the issue(s) brought up in the case study. What are your values related to this case/patient? Do the patient’s values presented in the case conflict with your own values? State yes or no and support your answer with details and examples on how your values are aligned or in conflict with the patients. In the case of Mrs. Brown, I see the potential for conflicting values over various issues, such as fidelity, sexual orientation, dishonesty, or conflict resolution. I chose to discuss the potential value conflict of fidelity in marriage. I believe strongly in fidelity in marriage and committed relationships.
My values related to this patient are to be caring and compassionate while providing the best physical therapy interventions for her. No, our values do not directly conflict. Mrs. Brown’s action of an extramarital affair conflict with my value of fidelity, but I think she values keeping the peace and avoiding conflict, not that she values infidelity. There is a difference in the prioritizing of our values because I also value peace and the absence of conflict but I value my fidelity to my husband more than keeping the peace. At first glance it seemed that there would be serious conflict of values between myself and Mrs. Brown, but with deeper reflection I believe we have similar values with differing preferences.
B. When did you develop your values and opinions related to this issue? In other words, did you develop them during childhood, or when you became an adult? What/who were your primary influences in determining your values? (i.e. parents, grandparents, siblings, other family members, friends, religion, school, neighborhood, etc.) My values and opinion concerning fidelity and faithfulness began in my teen years and continued as I matured in my twenties as a married woman. My parents helped to develop this value in my childhood and teens by demonstrating fidelity to one another, but also in teaching me to keep my word. If I say Tam going to do something, then I should stand behind and fulfill that statement or promise.
In the late eighties and early nineties, infidelity and divorce were on my radar because I had friends whose parents were divorcing. My husband and I agreed prior to getting married that we would ask the other for a divorce prior to having an affair. Fidelity was already important to me when I became a Christian in 1997, but as I learned more about God’s view of marriage my commitment to being faithful truly solidified. I seek to be faithful not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally. I greatly value faithfulness in marriage and am saddened to see the destruction of so many marriages.
C. Read page 34-35 of your textbook, Development of an Ethical Consciousness. There are three common approaches to solving value conflicts. Define each approach in your own words using one-two sentences: “objectivist approach,” “ethical subjectivism approach,” and “contextualism approach.” Which approach is the best to use in the case you picked? To what extent have you ever challenged, questioned or changed your values about the issue in your case? Explain. The objectivist approach to an ethical conscious looks to an outside or higher authority, like various religions (Davis, 2011, p. 34). It is a legalistic, if you follow the rules then you are ethical. The subjectivism approach to an ethical conscious is to consider each person’s values valid and goes further to analyze if a person’s value is truly a value meeting Raths’ seven requirements for a value (Davis, 2011, p. 34).
The contextualism approach to an ethical conscious is the thought that each set of circumstances has a right decision for resolution of conflict (Davis, 2011, p. 35). When I first read this case report, I believed my values and Mrs. Brown’s values were in conflict on a personal level, but not on a professional level. By coming to the understanding and acceptance that she has her own beliefs and values and they are valid and right for her, I used the subjective approach. And it is not professionally any of my business if she has an extramarital affair, a homosexual relationship, or tells her husband. The context of the scenario allows me to personally step back from the situation and to treat Mrs. Brown’s low back pain. I cannot say that I have ever challenged or question my value of fidelity in marriage.
My perception and high prioritizing of this value became greater after marrying, maturing, and again after learning and choosing to align my beliefs about marriage with those in the Bible. D. Values underlie behaviors. In the case report you chose, would you be likely to impose your values on the patient? Describe 2 negative behaviors/actions that could appear in your treatment if your values are different than the patients or if you disapprove of the patient’s or family’s choices/values/behaviors.
I will not impose my values on Mrs. Brown, depending on my interaction and relationship with Mrs. Brown, I may not even suggest she tell her husband or any other such resolution to her marital issues. I would inform her that I am not morally, ethically, or professionally bound to tell anyone about her infidelity, dishonesty, or sexual orientation and that I have no intention to do so. Two negative behaviors or actions that I might show would be to avoid personal conversation and/or not spend as much time with her during treatment, which would likely be interpreted as prejudice or indifference (Davis, 2011, p. 33). I am relational, so these two behaviors are often my way of distancing myself from someone who I don’t care for (or agree with ) or to avoid saying something that has potential to cause conflict with the other person (I avoid conflict as well). I do not desire to know more about this personal dilemma.
My involvement would be to ask about any back pain or injury and to clarify that she, as my patient, is satisfied with her sex life and daily function. My goal is to treat her low back pain and for a return to her normal function and activities, therefore, I would make that my focus and treat her as a valued patient/client. E. Read page 38 of your textbook, Moral Awareness vs. Moral Consciousness. Using your own words, in two-three sentences, describe the difference between moral consciousness and moral awareness. Then, thoroughly answer the following two questions about the effectiveness of your therapeutic presence with your patient: Can I accept the patient for what he or she is, not for what I think he or she should be? Can I handle my authority in a humane way that respects the life and values of the patient? Moral aware is to know the definition of a value and know if my behavior at times fits that definition (Davis, 2011, p. 38).
Moral consciousness is to think and reflect on a value and its meaning, identifying how it is intertwined in my thoughts and actions, plays a role in decision making, and interacts with my other values and morals (Davis, 2011, p. 38). Yes, I can accept Mrs. Brown for who she is. Yes, I can handle my authority humanely and with respect for Mrs. Brown and her values. My values and beliefs as a Christian are often different than those around me and I have been practicing not judging others or holding them to my standards for many years. I could continue to treat Mrs. Brown without any negative impact on her treatment or our interaction, especially now that I have taken the time to cogitate on potential values conflict. With the added benefit of foreseeing my negative behavior, it will be easily recognized and squashed if it occurs.