Think of a situation in which you simply did not know the right thing to do. Ethical decision-making means determining the appropriate response in difficult situations. These situations are some of the most challenging that any professional can encounter. Codes of ethics for public health educators provide essential guidance in this area. The Coalition of National Health Education Organizations (CNHEO) provides a Code of Ethics for all public health educators. To prepare you for facing ethically difficult situations, this Discussion challenges you to apply the CNHEO Code of Ethics to a scenario that presents an ethical dilemma.
To prepare for this Discussion:
- Select one of the scenarios (1–4) from the “Activities” section at the end of Chapter 5 in the Cottrell, Girvan, and McKenzie course text. Consider the ethical issue(s) that are raised within the scenario.
- Review the CNHEO Code of Ethics included in Appendix A of the Cottrell et al. course text. Identify the main articles and sections from the Code of Ethics that best apply to the scenario.
- Consider how the Code of Ethics impacts public health educators’ responses to ethical scenarios. How would you respond to the dilemma described in the scenario?
I choose activity #2
As the health and fitness director of a large corporate wellness program, you have been asked to provide data to your supervisor that supports the effectiveness of your program. The trend in the company has been to cut programs that do not “carry their weight.” The “bottom line” is important. In your review of the data related to your program, it is obvious that the data are not strong. However, in fairness to you, the program has been in operation for only two years, and it is too early to see the type of results management is looking for. You are the only one who has access to the data, and no one will know if the data you submit are accurate. How will you handle this situation?