The Ethical Decision Making Model

Written by: Jhon Lewy,

Decision making can be quite tough and mind boggling but when we have to make considerations of ethics and decision making, we can entirely tie ourselves up so tight that we stop making decisions entirely. This calls for the guidance from the ethical model of decision making

An ethical decision making model helps the executives in making the best possible strategic decision because the decision making depends on both decision quality and the execution effectiveness.

The decision quality

A decision is not ethical if it goes against your values. It means that a decision is aligned with particular self-serving interests from one person or one group of people but not with the organizational results.

Execution Effectiveness

Making use of the model involves the hearts and minds of the people who will execute such model because they all know the decisions in the best interest of everybody.


The decision making model involve the following key parts;
1. Assess
2. Plan
3. Implement
4. Evaluate


Involve the following steps

1. Identifying the problem and determining whether the matter is an ethical one. This is done by the use of Ethics Code and other professional guidelines.

2. If the matter involves clinical issues, description and clarity of relevant clinical components are made.

3. Considerations of whether there are any legal requirements, contractual obligations or agency considerations

4. Identification of personal values

5. Evaluation of rights, vulnerabilities and responsibilities.

6. Obtaining consultations

7. Consideration of whether members of your team should engage in the decision making process.


This involves generating a list of all the possible solutions or decisions to make.

Using the list, eliminate any options that are clearly unethical, illegal or clinically inappropriate.

After that, you enumerate, make considerations and weigh the consequences of the remaining options.


This involves making a decision, deciding on how to best act on it and carrying out the decision that you have made.


This is the last step of the model and involves documenting your decision making process and the actions.

Ethical issues in decision making involve getting the facts right. You need to know the people affected by your decision. After that, make evaluations of any alternative actions. The approaches may be based on utilitarian approach, rights-based approach, fairness or justice approach, common good approach or virtual approach.
Testing your decisions is vital. Consider if you could comfortably explain to everyone why you reached such a decision. Once you have made your decision, do not waste time in implementing it.