Lawyers and other professionals must tackle many different issues at work, but often ethical dilemmas can prove the toughest to solve. Often the best approach is by talking through the problem with an objective and understanding person who is equipped with the tools to really help.
Luckily, there is an organisation out there which runs a Helpline service staffed by qualified and experienced ethics counsellors exactly for this purpose and it’s been taking off in popularity amongst lawyers.
Many lawyers are finding their firms’ codes of practice don’t fully address some complicated ethical issues.
“Codes are written in black-and-white, [but often] people feel in an ethical area that there might be a number of right options, or that every option is wrong”, says Psychologist, Elisabeth Shaw, the woman in charge of Ethi-Call.
Ethics is personal; one person’s set of ethics may vary greatly from the next persons’. Each Helpline counsellor understands this and will help guide the caller to reach their own moral conclusion. The counsellor will ask the caller why they think they have an ethical quandary on their hands and what it is that is upsetting them in relation to their own ethical principles.
“We have a formal decision-making model that has been developed more from philosophical underpinnings. It is a structured approach where people can think outside their profession and outside the limits of their own thinking and come at [the issue] from a different angle”, says Mrs Shaw.
St James Ethics Centre is unique. It is the only Centre for applied ethics in the world and has been operating not-for-profit, in Australia and abroad for over 25 years.
The organisation also runs events and public debates in partnership with the Sydney Opera House including the ‘Intelligence Squared’ and ‘Festival of Dangerous Ideas’, as well as offering other professional services including:
Risk Analysis and more
If you’re a professional needing to make a tough, ethical decision, but would like some support, advice and guidance, why not call the Ethi-Call Helpline on 1800 672 303.