Thereare three poles of ethical judgments, which include the pole ofagent, pole of act, and pole of effect (Filerman et al, 2014). Thepole of agent ethical judgment is usually centered on the overallethical status of an individual or agent and is less concerned withidentifying the morality of specific actions. On the other hand, thepole of act ethical judgment is usually concerned broadly with theintentions of an individual making ethical decisions concerningspecific actions. This pole is centered more on specific actions inethical decision making. Alternatively, the pole of effect ethicaljudgment is usually concerned with ethical consequences of certainactions here, consequences of a given action matter the most.

Applicationof ethical consideration in healthcare facilities is a criticalconcern as it helps in accomplishing the goals of healthcarefacilities, as well as protecting the patients. The application ofethical considerations in modern healthcare relates to all the threepoles of ethical judgments discussed above because it is possible toencounter conflict in modern healthcare through the threeperspectives. The following paragraphs discuss how it is possible toencounter conflict in modern healthcare through the threeperspectives of ethical judgments, which calls for ethicalconsiderations.

Poleof Agent

Asindicated earlier, this perspective of ethical judgment is concernedwith ethical status of agent. In this case, the healthcare isconsidered as the agent that needs to have ethical status. Everyhealthcare, just like any other organization needs to have a missionstatement. The mission of any organization indicates what goals theorganization wants to achieve (Filerman et al, 2014). Therefore, amission statement of an organization guides an organization on thedirection that it is supposed to take. This is not different to ahealthcare facility. In a healthcare organization, the missionstatement should reflect value that patients should receive and needsto align with the rights that are entitled to patients. In someinstances, there may be a conflict of value, where the missionstatement of a healthcare does not align with the rights of patients.This may end up resulting in an ethical concern. For instance,consider a healthcare facility that has a mission of providing safetyto its patients, but fails to do so. In this case, the mission doesnot align with what it should offer to patients, even the requirementbeing a patients’ right.

Also,of importance is the ethical climate and culture of a healthcarefacility. Healthcare facilities need to build and maintainappropriate organizational culture and ethical climate in order toprevent conflicts emanating from ethical concerns (Filerman et al,2014). In case a healthcare facility builds and maintainsinappropriate culture or ethical climate, it is likely to beconsidered to breed ethical concerns. For example, consider ahealthcare facility, where health workers want to do the right thingin order to prevent emergence of ethical concerns, but the healthcarefacility itself has constraints that hinder health workers fromcatering for patients. Besides, there may also be a case where ahealthcare facility has to respond to various regulatory orlegislative bodies. Such issues may bring ethical concerns, whichwould be centered on the agent.

Poleof Act

Accordingto this perspective, intentions of an individual in making ethicaldecisions concerning specific actions are of paramount importance.This can be applied in healthcare facilities, when consideringethical concerns. The actions taken by healthcare facility workersdetermine whether there are ethical concerns or not. It is theresponsibility of a health practitioner to make ethical decisions,when providing health services to patients so as to avoidencountering ethical problems. Failure of a health practitioner topractice ethics may lead to ethical problems, which may affectpatients or both the practitioner and patients. For instance,consider a scenario, where a practitioner abuses the rights of apatient by refusing to attend or give medication on the basis ofrace. This entails an ethical concern that lies squarely on the partof a healthcare practitioner. This is an indication that the pole ofact relates to ethical considerations, when it comes to modernhealthcare facilities.

Poleof Effect

Poleof effect can also relate to healthcare facilities in consideringethical concerns. According to this perspective, ethical consequencesof certain actions are of immense concern in making ethicaljudgments. This can be considered in the application of ethicalconsiderations in modern healthcare since some ethical consequencesemanating from certain actions may result to ethical concerns. Inmost cases, negligence can be considered to take center stage inconsidering the ethical consequences of given actions. Negligenceplays a great part here because failure of a person to act in areasonable manner leads to ethical concerns. Take, for instance, acase where a healthcare practitioner has the responsibility ofproviding care to a patient through constant checks of the patient’scondition, but fails to do so and the patient dies. In such ascenario, the death of the patient can be indicated to be as a resultof practitioner’s failure to constantly check the condition of thepatient. This is an indication that the pole of effect has a part toplay in the consideration of ethical concerns in healthcarefacilities.

Values-baseddecision making needs to frame its approach to organizational ethics.Since integrity requires any organization to have a mission, whichindicate the fundamental moral values and commitments that guide theorganization, values-based decision making requires an organizationto adhere to these values in making ethical decisions. Values thatguide a healthcare facility may be moral, legal or even social. Thisis an indication that the decisions that a healthy facility makesshould consider a certain social, moral, or legal value. For example,it is under the legal values for a health practitioner to take careof a patient by giving him/her the right medication. However, thisvalue may be conflicted in case a practitioner gives the wrongmedication. Therefore, in order to avoid ethical concerns, it iscritical to follow different values in making ethical decisions. Forinstance, in treating a patient, a physician has to consider thelegal, social, and moral values of the decisions he/she makes.


Inmaking ethical judgments, there are three perspectives that can beconsidered. These perspectives include action perspective, effectperspective, and agent perspective. When it comes to a healthcarefacility, these three perspectives can be applied in consideringwhether ethical decisions have been made. On the other hand,values-based decision making is also critical in considering theapplication of ethical decisions in a healthcare facility since theapproach is usually guided by values. It is possible to avoid ethicalconcerns through following values.


Filerman,G. L., Mills, A. E., &amp Schyve, P. M. (2014). Managerialethics in healthcare: A new perspective.Chicago, IL : Health Administration Press.