Ethics and Behavior 1 (2):129 – 143 (1991)

Codes of professional ethics and cases designed to teach ethical decision making are written for individual professionals and ignore the systems level of analysis. They typically employ a lineal view of causality and overvalue placement of blame as a component of ethical problem solving. This article takes a systems approach to ethical problems and identifies aspects of systems that promote or impede ethical decision making. Psychological abuse of children is used as an example of a problem requiring a coordinated, systemic response to ethical issues such as autonomy, privacy, and confidentiality.
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DOI 10.1207/s15327019eb0102_5
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