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Chapter 4 Dental Ethics Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced or transmitted in any form.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 4 Dental Ethics Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced or transmitted in any form."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 4 Dental Ethics Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. No part of this product may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including input into or storage in any information system, without permission in writing from the publisher. PowerPoint ® presentation slides may be displayed and may be reproduced in print form for instructional purposes only, provided a proper copyright notice appears on the last page of each print-out. Produced in the United States of America ISBN

2 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Introduction Dentistry is a profession, which means it is different from general businesses. As a professional dental assistant, you are bound by an ethical code of conduct that is above and beyond codes that apply to a nonprofessional. Dentistry is a profession, which means it is different from general businesses. As a professional dental assistant, you are bound by an ethical code of conduct that is above and beyond codes that apply to a nonprofessional.

3 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Introduction  cont’d n Ethics deals with moral conduct (right and wrong behavior), and good and evil. n Ethics includes the values, high standards of conduct, and professional and personal obligations in interacting with each other. n As dental health care professionals, these qualities are important to us as we provide dental care to our patients. n Ethics deals with moral conduct (right and wrong behavior), and good and evil. n Ethics includes the values, high standards of conduct, and professional and personal obligations in interacting with each other. n As dental health care professionals, these qualities are important to us as we provide dental care to our patients.

4 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Introduction  cont’d n Ethics seeks to answer two basic questions: What should I do? Why should I do it? n Ethics refers to what you should do, not what you must do. The law deals with what you must do. n Ethics seeks to answer two basic questions: What should I do? Why should I do it? n Ethics refers to what you should do, not what you must do. The law deals with what you must do.

5 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Basic Principles of Ethics  A regard for self-determination (autonomy) includes the right to privacy, freedom of choice, and the acceptance of responsibility for one’s own actions.  A regard for justice involves treating people fairly and giving people what they deserve and are entitled to receive.  A regard for self-determination (autonomy) includes the right to privacy, freedom of choice, and the acceptance of responsibility for one’s own actions.  A regard for justice involves treating people fairly and giving people what they deserve and are entitled to receive.

6 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Examples of Ethical Principles n Informing the sales clerk that he or she undercharged you for an item (principle of justice). n Admitting that you made a serious error (principle of autonomy). n Helping a fellow student studying (principle of well-being). n Refusing to participate in gossip about a fellow student (principle of doing no harm). n Informing the sales clerk that he or she undercharged you for an item (principle of justice). n Admitting that you made a serious error (principle of autonomy). n Helping a fellow student studying (principle of well-being). n Refusing to participate in gossip about a fellow student (principle of doing no harm).

7 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Examples of Unethical Behavior  Charging the patient for a full set of x-rays when only six films were taken (principle of justice).  Pressuring a classmate into a decision (principle of autonomy).  Refusing to help a classmate learn (principle of well-being).  Harming another person by repeating gossip about him or her (principle of doing no harm).  Charging the patient for a full set of x-rays when only six films were taken (principle of justice).  Pressuring a classmate into a decision (principle of autonomy).  Refusing to help a classmate learn (principle of well-being).  Harming another person by repeating gossip about him or her (principle of doing no harm).

8 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Professional Code of Ethics  All the major professions (e.g., dental, medical, legal) have a written code of ethics.  These are voluntary standards of behavior, not laws, and they serve as a method of self-policing within a profession.  The code of ethics of most professions has been revised on several occasions to keep it consistent with the times, but there has never been a change in the moral intent or overall idealism.  All the major professions (e.g., dental, medical, legal) have a written code of ethics.  These are voluntary standards of behavior, not laws, and they serve as a method of self-policing within a profession.  The code of ethics of most professions has been revised on several occasions to keep it consistent with the times, but there has never been a change in the moral intent or overall idealism.

9 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Reasons for a Code of Ethics n To demonstrate to the public the standard of conduct it can expect from its members. n To increase the ethical consciousness and ethical responsibility of its members. n To guide its members in making informed ethical decisions. n To establish a standard for professional judgment and conduct. n To demonstrate to the public the standard of conduct it can expect from its members. n To increase the ethical consciousness and ethical responsibility of its members. n To guide its members in making informed ethical decisions. n To establish a standard for professional judgment and conduct.

10 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Difference Between Ethics and Law  Legal issues are settled by using laws and court decisions. Ethical issues are subject to individual interpretation as to the right or wrong of particular situations.

11 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Difference Between Ethics and Law  cont’d n Laws are very specific and are written by people with the authority to write laws. n The law is often referred to as being “black and white,” “right or wrong.” n Ethics are less specific and have more gray areas. Ethics are the conscience of the profession. n Laws set the minimum standard of behavior; ethics set the highest standard of behavior. n Laws are very specific and are written by people with the authority to write laws. n The law is often referred to as being “black and white,” “right or wrong.” n Ethics are less specific and have more gray areas. Ethics are the conscience of the profession. n Laws set the minimum standard of behavior; ethics set the highest standard of behavior.

12 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Fig. 4-1 Dental ethics. Fig. 4-1

13 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Solving Ethical Dilemmas n Step 1: Identify the alternatives. n Step 2: Determine what is at stake. n Step 3: Rank the alternatives. n Step 4: Choose a course of action. n Step 1: Identify the alternatives. n Step 2: Determine what is at stake. n Step 3: Rank the alternatives. n Step 4: Choose a course of action.

14 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Legal and Ethical Implications  You may be faced with a situation in which your dentist-employer’s conduct violates ethical standards. Before you make any judgments, be absolutely certain of all the information and circumstances. If there are violations of ethical conduct, you must make some decisions.

15 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Ethical Decision-Making n Do you wish to remain under these circumstances? n Should you seek other employment? n If you remain, will it affect you in the future with other employers? n Do you wish to remain under these circumstances? n Should you seek other employment? n If you remain, will it affect you in the future with other employers?

16 Copyright 2003, Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Ethical Decision-Making  cont’d n These decisions are difficult, especially if you like your employer and enjoy your job. n A dental assistant is not legally obligated to report questionable actions of the dentist or to attempt to alter the circumstances. However, an ethical dental assistant will not wish to participate in substandard care or unlawful practices that may be harmful to patients. n These decisions are difficult, especially if you like your employer and enjoy your job. n A dental assistant is not legally obligated to report questionable actions of the dentist or to attempt to alter the circumstances. However, an ethical dental assistant will not wish to participate in substandard care or unlawful practices that may be harmful to patients.


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