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    Ethics & Debate Center - Thread: Business and personal values

    1. #1
      ImaginaryDay2's Avatar
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      Business and personal values

      So I had a conversation today by phone with a potential employer. The conversation went very well, even in spite of the context of this post. The employer does a pre-screening by phone prior to going through with an interview for some of the reasons I'll bring up. Great job - the opening is for a counsellor position with a day and evening program for youth, engaging them in life skills programming, and helping them identify values and goals for themselves. The program will be running in different areas in our 'region' so it will be reaching a number of youth.This is also an organization I've been 'courting' for a while. As I said, the phone call was great - got questions answered, and a good overview of the position.

      Here's the issue. He explained that they have two "organizational values" that, for any employee who accepts a position, they would need to uphold

      1) They value working with a diverse population. They do not discriminate against any person based on race, religion, or sexual preference/gender identity/orientation
      Here, I have no issues, and would agree to working within their values.

      2)They value "teaching and supporting a person's right to an abortion, as an equally positive option among other options"
      Problem. I recognize that a person has a right to an abortion. It is a choice they have, and they should have access, if they make that choice. However, the trouble comes in for me with teaching, supporting, and presenting abortion as an equally positive option, because that goes against my personal values. While I recognize the right , I don't support abortion as an "equally positive option among other options".

      So... I need to know if I'm over-thinking this, or if I should just trust my gut. We've agreed to have another conversation soon before setting an in-person meeting to talk a bit more about the issue - basically to let him know where I stand.
      I can't stop the world from turning around, or the pull of the moon on the tide...
      But I don't believe that we're in this alone, I believe we're along for the ride..
      - Dream Theater

    2. #2
      Lämmchen's Avatar
      Lämmchen is offline God's Lil Lamb
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      It sounds as if you'll be required to teach something at some point in your job that you are against. Are you able to live with having to do that? They obviously won't change their minds on it if it's specifically pointed out as one of their values.
      "Christianity does not require more work but more trust." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "Bearing fruit does not make you a branch. A branch is a branch because it grows from the vine." Pr. Jonathan Fisk
      "A Christian's life is not defined by what the Christian does. It is defined by Christ and what He has done for us." Pr. Rolf David Preus

    3. #3
      ImaginaryDay2's Avatar
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      I think what it comes down to ultimately is their wording about presenting it as an equally positive option. As far as the "law of the land" is concerned, it is a legal option, and I can't (and wouldn't) get in the way of someone who wanted to pursue that option. I'd also be ethically bound to provide information about the option if I were asked. But as an equally positive option? No.
      I can't stop the world from turning around, or the pull of the moon on the tide...
      But I don't believe that we're in this alone, I believe we're along for the ride..
      - Dream Theater

    4. #4
      ValleyGal is offline Veteran Member
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      Arm yourself with peer-reviewed studies on the psychological effects of abortion. For many women, years after the abortion, they come to regret their decisions... especially for those who eventually do go on to have children. If you can provide it as an option, but not a positive option, would that make a difference?

      You could also present the term "positive" as the agency asserting their own values. Isn't the determination of positive or negative actually formed by the person who is making that decision? Ultimately, their own words are disempowering clients, when you really look at it. If they can see it from that perspective, maybe they will take the judgement out of it by providing it as an objective option rather than placing positive OR negative value on it?

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    6. #5
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      I typed an update, but the internet went out before it posted. I had a conversation with the supervisor and he clarified some things for me. Basically, their HR wrote the policy the way it's worded, so he's responsible for stating it that way. I can understand that. In practice, however, my role would be as it is with a number of other issues that youth could present with - being an objective voice in their own decision making process. That would mean that clinicians don't take either a 'pro' or 'con' position, but come alongside the client in making a decision on their own. Any number of things could come into play as well. If a youth is in supportive housing, they might have questions about having a child while in that environment, if they could stay in housing, connecting with their social worker about custody issues, family interventions, etc.

      So where things look 'cut and dry' on the surface, it isn't always that way. And I won't deny that, whatever decision youth might make, they need all the support they can get.
      I can't stop the world from turning around, or the pull of the moon on the tide...
      But I don't believe that we're in this alone, I believe we're along for the ride..
      - Dream Theater

    7. #6
      IACOBVS is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by ValleyGal View Post
      Arm yourself with peer-reviewed studies on the psychological effects of abortion. For many women, years after the abortion, they come to regret their decisions... especially for those who eventually do go on to have children. If you can provide it as an option, but not a positive option, would that make a difference?

      You could also present the term "positive" as the agency asserting their own values. Isn't the determination of positive or negative actually formed by the person who is making that decision? Ultimately, their own words are disempowering clients, when you really look at it. If they can see it from that perspective, maybe they will take the judgement out of it by providing it as an objective option rather than placing positive OR negative value on it?
      "Arming" oneself with such arguments wouldn't be helpful in gaining employment with such an agency here in Canada. The interviewer has made it clear that they are a pro-choice entity, and require a pro-choice counselling approach.

    8. #7
      IACOBVS is offline Junior Member
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      Quote Originally Posted by ImaginaryDay2 View Post
      I typed an update, but the internet went out before it posted. I had a conversation with the supervisor and he clarified some things for me. Basically, their HR wrote the policy the way it's worded, so he's responsible for stating it that way. I can understand that. In practice, however, my role would be as it is with a number of other issues that youth could present with - being an objective voice in their own decision making process. That would mean that clinicians don't take either a 'pro' or 'con' position, but come alongside the client in making a decision on their own. Any number of things could come into play as well. If a youth is in supportive housing, they might have questions about having a child while in that environment, if they could stay in housing, connecting with their social worker about custody issues, family interventions, etc.

      So where things look 'cut and dry' on the surface, it isn't always that way. And I won't deny that, whatever decision youth might make, they need all the support they can get.
      Would you be able to unconditionally support a girl or woman if she made her own decision to end her pregnancy? And would you be able to present such an option to her in an unbiased way? Those are the two questions that you will need to answer.

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    10. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by ValleyGal View Post
      Arm yourself with peer-reviewed studies on the psychological effects of abortion. For many women, years after the abortion, they come to regret their decisions... especially for those who eventually do go on to have children. If you can provide it as an option, but not a positive option, would that make a difference?

      You could also present the term "positive" as the agency asserting their own values. Isn't the determination of positive or negative actually formed by the person who is making that decision? Ultimately, their own words are disempowering clients, when you really look at it. If they can see it from that perspective, maybe they will take the judgement out of it by providing it as an objective option rather than placing positive OR negative value on it?
      I suspect the term "equally positive" suggests the agency doesn't look to take any particular stance on whether abortion is a good thing or not, merely taking a more passive stance that any decision the client makes is as positive as any other decision they might have made.

      I'd have thought presenting all options equally might involve giving the client information about the relative pros and cons of aborting the pregnancy compared to carrying the child to term with a view to either keeping it or giving it up for adoption. Perhaps it would mean accompanying them to have an ultrasound so they can see what is growing inside them so they can make a decision for themselves whether it counts as a human or a bunch of cells.

      ImaginaryDay - what kind of support does the role involve providing? It seems that a woman having an abortion may have ongoing regrets about it but it's not exactly a walk in the park for a young woman living in transient accommodation and struggling to get by on her own to think about adding a baby to the mix. The concept of "support" fails if it merely accompanies her to the abortion clinic and then abandons her, likewise it fails if it persuades her to carry the child to term but then abandons her to fend for herself.
      "Do what thou will shall be the whole of the law" - Aleister Crowley

      "If you love me, obey my commandments" - Jesus Christ

      The Bible comes as a complete package. If we want to pluck verses out of context so make them mean what we want them to mean, if we want to ignore the passages that are inconvenient to our outlook, we should be intellectually honest enough to throw our Bibles in the trash and admit we are following Crowley and not Christ.

    11. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by IACOBVS View Post
      "Arming" oneself with such arguments wouldn't be helpful in gaining employment with such an agency here in Canada. The interviewer has made it clear that they are a pro-choice entity, and require a pro-choice counselling approach.
      I AM Canadian. My husband (IDay) is American. I was using language that an American would identify with. Ftr, I am also pro-choice, as it is a harm-reduction approach.

      When employers have these kinds of conversations, it is not a deal-breaker to bring up potential items for discussion. After all, that is what pre-screening is for. And in a values-based profession such as IDay's and mine, it is an important discussion to have. My response to him is very evidence-based, as a practitioner such as IDay should be. As well, the second paragraph offers objective reasoning and language - another part of his profession.

      In a nutshell, I was offering IDay a means to conversation and informed dialogue rather than just a moral opinion. I am not here for debate or to be criticized. I was trying to support my husband in his profession.

    12. #10
      ImaginaryDay2's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      I suspect the term "equally positive" suggests the agency doesn't look to take any particular stance on whether abortion is a good thing or not, merely taking a more passive stance that any decision the client makes is as positive as any other decision they might have made.
      That hits it right on the head. The clinician's role is to assist the person in navigating that decision for themselves.

      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      I'd have thought presenting all options equally might involve giving the client information about the relative pros and cons of aborting the pregnancy compared to carrying the child to term with a view to either keeping it or giving it up for adoption. Perhaps it would mean accompanying them to have an ultrasound so they can see what is growing inside them so they can make a decision for themselves whether it counts as a human or a bunch of cells.
      providing that information may/may not be part of my role. Most likely, if a person was interested in that it would involve referring them to the appropriate person/professional outside our agency. My responsibility would be the willingness to make that referral as opposed to inserting my own 'pro-life' values by refusing, or trying to talk them out of it.

      Quote Originally Posted by tango View Post
      ImaginaryDay - what kind of support does the role involve providing? It seems that a woman having an abortion may have ongoing regrets about it but it's not exactly a walk in the park for a young woman living in transient accommodation and struggling to get by on her own to think about adding a baby to the mix. The concept of "support" fails if it merely accompanies her to the abortion clinic and then abandons her, likewise it fails if it persuades her to carry the child to term but then abandons her to fend for herself.
      Accompanying them wouldn't be part of my role, necessarily. The support is more in the form of "coming along side" the person in making the choice for themselves. And, as you said, whether a choice is made to abort, or have a child, or adopt, those are heavy decisions for a youth. There is, indeed, a process (typically) afterward where there may be some questioning, doubts, strong feelings, etc. So the counselor would help to process those issues as well.
      I can't stop the world from turning around, or the pull of the moon on the tide...
      But I don't believe that we're in this alone, I believe we're along for the ride..
      - Dream Theater

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