IDEA Ethical Decision Making Models and Seven Approaches Free Trial Sample (2023)

Ethical decision making is the process of selecting and considering alternatives following moral values. Choosing the best ethical option and eliminating immoral possibilities is essential when engaging in ethical decisions. As for making the right ethical decision, the individual is obligated to do good, no matter how costly it may be. In addition, the individual must act consistently and apply moral principles to daily activities.

Ethical decision-making models provide a framework for planning and critical thinking around ethical issues. An ethical decision-making model can be described as a tool that healthcare professionals can use to make moral decisions and think about ethical dilemmas (Roubanis, 2019). There are several forms of the model, but this article will focus on two of them: the concept and the seven approaches model. It will contrast the two models, establish their use and application, and generate worksheets to resolve the identified ethical problem.

The conceptual model

IDEA's goal is to help people make ethical decisions. The framework establishes a standard step-by-step process that allows management and physicians to resolve the moral dilemma during the delivery of health care. In addition, the framework is used to guide actions and decision-making on ethical issues. The paradigm focuses on moral decisions: organizational and clinical outcomes. Fair judgments that affect individual staff members or patients, such as discontinuing a patient's therapy, are clinical (Roubanis, 2019). On the other hand, ethical organizational decisions affect team members or patient units, systems, or the organization as a whole. For example, whether a maternity program should be reduced or increased. Some ethical decisions will be primarily clinical, while others will be primarily organizational.

There will be clinical and organizational implications for many ethical decisions. The framework can help an individual, a group, or a community resolve a moral dilemma. Furthermore, it can help a community or team by providing a shared systematic procedure, generating a shared voice, and establishing unique expertise to solve challenging problems. The organizational and clinical framework for ethical decisions contains four processes and five conditions identified as crucial. The abbreviation “IDEA” is formed by the initial letter of each step of this structure. The structure is designed to be circular, which implies that judgments should be reconsidered when new information becomes available. The four steps involved in the framework include; determine facts, take action, consider possibilities, and choose which ethical principles to apply.

The five requirements include; empowerment: fully involves maximizing appropriate opportunities for participation; Efforts must be made to minimize power imbalances in decision-making. Transparency: The framework, rationale and decisions must be available and describe all procedures to the right people who will use them. Relevance: Results are based on reasons such as ideas, facts, and arguments that "fair" people might agree are relevant in the circumstances. Reviews and appeals: Decisions should be reviewed and revised as new facts or opinions become available (Riggin & Lack, 2018). Compliance (Execution): The procedure must be regulated voluntarily or publicly to comply with the last four elements.

step by step instructions

A variety of guiding questions and concerns and a general question are provided for each phase of the framework. Some of the questions are more pertinent to clinical considerations, while others are more pertinent to organizational decisions. Conditions that must be met at each step of the procedure are also mentioned. One can seek help from professionals, ethics or bioethics facilitators to help them resolve the conflict and process.

Compile a list of facts

Ethical concerns often arise due to insufficient evidence or information, so identifying the facts is the first step towards a moral decision. This procedure can help solve some problems while laying the groundwork for successful strategies in others. The first act is to determine the identified ethical concern. The indication for use includes determining the patient's health problems, such as treatment for that particular patient. The second involves investigating the patient's preferences and whether the patient's decision is voluntary; the third deals with personal considerations, such as the opinion of doctors on the subject.

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Condition: Throughout the process, empowerment measures must be incorporated and implemented to reduce power differentials and increase credible opportunities for participation. The patterns reflect the state of promotion and dependence on nature; These can include democratic voting procedures, adequate time for preparation, and community involvement. General issue: Before an individual moves on to the next phase, he must have determined the ethical issue he is resolving and therefore modify it.

Establish the ethical values ​​that apply

The second phase involves an open conversation about the relevant individual or organization's dominant principles and values. The principles of staggered extension selected and examined the nature and considered the relative weight given to each code. A prioritized set of principled agreements guides decision-making processes. For example, what are the significant values ​​for stakeholders on this particular topic and the most relevant regulations according to stakeholders? Condition: The second step of the process satisfies the criteria that the judgment must be based on evidence or principles that are essential in the current context. General issue: At this point, one should identify whether the person's needs are met.

investigate the alternative

The third phase encourages creativity and thinking about a variety of potential alternatives. It would be helpful if you try to develop at least three solutions in any given situation. The advantages and disadvantages of each option are examined. Options that comply with applicable laws and policies are highlighted. Opportunities must be aligned with the organization's objective, vision and values ​​(Roubanis, 2019). Each viable option is evaluated using the agreed decision-making principles defined in Step Two. Condition: Modifications and Appeals: If not already in place, a system of reviews and appeals is established before a decision is implemented. The decision may be reviewed and modified in the light of new or additional data. The “reviews and appeals” condition requires these procedures. Overarching issue: The most ethically justifiable option should be identified at this stage.

To act

The fourth phase involves action, which is the implementation of the IDEA. This phase disseminates and documents decisions and processes to eligible parties. An implementation strategy is described and a method for evaluating completion is established. Condition – Compliance Finally, the decision-making act must be examined to confirm that all elements have been adequately met to satisfy the compliance requirement. While this assessment can be made by those immediately involved in the decision-making process, validation by the organization or a person partially directly involved is preferable because it is less likely to be seen as biased.

General problem: Finally, it is essential to ask yourself: "Are we (am I) comfortable with this decision?" The option reached may not be one that certain individuals or groups would prefer. On the other hand, those involved in the act of decision-making must feel confident in the decision and in the process that led to it (Roubanis, 2019). If those who participated in the decision-making are uncertain about the decision, further investigation into the reasons for their apprehension is needed before it is implemented.

IDEA Ethical Decision Making Models and Seven Approaches Free Trial Sample (1)

An ethical model with seven steps

The Ethical Decision Making Framework was developed by Dr. Michael Davis of the Illinois Institute of Technology. He guided discussions on case studies and other ethics course and workshop activities. The first step involved problem identification, such as establishing the main case for the disputed point. The second step is to collect and evaluate the facts relevant to the case. It is essential to address the unethical issues raised in the topic (Holmes et al., 2020). For example, you may need to know the legal boundaries of the decision, as well as any future technology challenges or other concerns. Since it's impossible to incorporate every detail into a case study, you'll often have to make assumptions based on what you know.

The third step is to identify the parties involved. All those interested in the decision must identify themselves at this time. Consider and list all possible individuals, groups or entities (such as the environment) affected by the findings. In the fourth step, at least five possibilities must be registered. At this stage, you need to be creative to avoid dilemmas. The fifth step involves testing the options using the following methodology: assessing whether the option causes less harm, assessing professional ethics, peer feedback on how they respond to problems, and whether the person will be able to defend their choice. The sixth step involves making an experimental choice based on actions, as if it could solve the identified problem. Finally, the final choice must be made; this is by reviewing steps one through six and then determining what you can improve to be more supported next time.

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IDEA Ethical Decision Making Models and Seven Approaches Free Trial Sample (2)

How IDEA and the Seven-Step Model can be used and applied

The IDEA method can be used in healthcare institutions in an organization or by physicians. Healthcare institutions must make challenging decisions to deliver high-quality care despite considerable cost constraints (Riggin & Lack, 2018). Technical and principle-based solutions have limited ability to deal with priority-setting issues. Given the possibility of conflicting goals and values, achieving procedural justice may be the most effective strategy for ensuring that sentences are socially acceptable and that public accountability is demonstrated.

The first step is to identify the facts as ethical issues, such as examining the patient's diagnosis, considering their religion or culture, and coming to understand their emotional feelings. The next step is to identify the values ​​and principles of the individual under consideration. In this phase, interact fully with the individual, creating a supportive environment. The third phase involves replacing ideas for solving problems that have different alternatives for solving that specific problem; the fourth phase is to participate in the endorsement once you are fully booted with the other three steps. This phase involves a doctor performing unavoidable surgery on the patient.

The ethical decision-making model's seven-step method can help you decide on a career or what to do with a job offer. Sometimes it can be difficult to develop a plan for the course of a career you want to pursue; therefore, this model is used to solve this concept. Information gathering is a vital part of the model. The more information available, the easier it is to make decisions; Recommended Many of the steps are specifically designed to accomplish this.

The seven steps that can be traced are: The first step involves determining the decision as to what an individual wants. The second step is to understand yourself, like our limitations, talents, values ​​and strengths. The third step is to identify options and list the possibilities under consideration. The fourth phase is the collection of information and statistics on the knowledge of each option (Roubanis, 2019). The fifth step is to assess the problem including opportunities, benefits, risks and disadvantages. The sixth step is to choose the best option and, finally, it is necessary to create a strategy and put it into practice. At this stage, the person should have discovered a career they want to merge.

Ethics Worksheet in a Hospital Case Study

  1. What is the ethical issue involved? To be discussed in one sentence.

  2. What facts can be established in this case study affect the ethical decision?

  3. Are there internal or external issues that can be established in this case? Factors should be described in one sentence.

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  4. Who are the participants and how are you obligated to them?

  5. What are the patient's values ​​or ideals?

  6. Do any of these principles differ from the usual values? What can you do to honor them?

  7. What are your options? Options are expected to be win-win (please list at least four)

  8. Identify the option that could harm the patient?

  9. Would honoring patients' principles affect their options?

  10. Are there principles or rules that could be legal and organizational issues that could affect your choices?

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  11. Establish ethical theories that reject or support your actions. explain in detail

  12. What is the course of action based on the established analysis?

  13. Defend your decision on choosing your course of action.


In conclusion, participating in good decisions is morally right and practical. Ethical decisions maintain and build trust by reflecting fairness, compassion, accountability and respect. These behaviors lay the groundwork for better decision-making, establishing ground rules for human conduct. In addition, good decisions allow us to achieve our goals and achieve what we want. The ethical literature has several models, which are similar in design and substance.

The models are based on values ​​or knowledge based on principles innovated by the philosophers Childress and Beauchamp. Values, duties and ethics are all considered in this framework. Models advocate the use of dental resources such as clinical data, published evidence, and peer consultation. Some of these models have four, five or seven stages of problem solving. Yet they all encourage critical deliberation through the framework of a decision model, whether in large clinical settings, private practice, or dental advocacy companies.


Holmes, T., Otocki, A., Zucker, K. e Unsworth, J. (2020).Posting Ethical Health Tips Online: Addressing Ethical Decision Making Through the Modified Army-Baylor 7-Step Model for Organizational Decision Making.Legal Medicine Magazine,40(sup2), 39-40. Network.

Riggin, B. y Falta, C. (2018).Ethical decision-making models in mental health treatment: a review and expansion.Current Psychiatry Reviews,14(3), 171-177. Network.

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Roubanis, J. (2019).Ethical decision-making model.Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences,111(2), 43-48. Network.


What is an example of a good ethical decision making model? ›

Ethical behavior suggests someone is honest and forthright in communications whether written or oral. A salesperson explaining potential problems with a product is being honest. A customer service representative taking responsibility for failing to follow through with a service action is making an ethical decision.

How can the 7 steps model for ethical decision making help a person to have a sound Judgement? ›

This seven-step guide to making good decisions is an excerpt from the book Making Ethical Decisions .
  • Stop and Think. One of the most important steps to better decisions is the oldest advice in the word: think ahead. ...
  • Clarify Goals. ...
  • Determine Facts. ...
  • Develop Options. ...
  • Consider Consequences. ...
  • Choose. ...
  • Monitor and Modify.

What is an example of ethical decision making model in nursing? ›

An example is patient triage: when a nurse must decide which of several needy patients requires immediate attention. That decision may depend on where the nurse can do the most good, or where the need is greatest, depending on the nurse's determination of the most just course of action.

What are the seven 7 Steps to decision-making? ›

  • Step 1: Identify the decision. You realize that you need to make a decision. ...
  • Step 2: Gather relevant information. ...
  • Step 3: Identify the alternatives. ...
  • Step 4: Weigh the evidence. ...
  • Step 5: Choose among alternatives. ...
  • Step 6: Take action. ...
  • Step 7: Review your decision & its consequences.
Jun 8, 2022

What are the 7 types of decision-making? ›

Types of Decision Making – Routine, Strategic, Policy, Operating, Organisational, Personal, Programmed, Non-Programmed, Individual and Group Decisions.


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