Ethics Case Analysis Toolkit


(a) Start by understanding each person’s professional and ethical perspective. Ask curiosity questions. Refrain from critiquing or criticizing.  Engender sympathy and compassion as you invite everyone to reflect on moral discomfort and intuitions.

(b) Use the 4-Box approach* to understand the pertinent elements of the case. (click image for more info)


(a) Consider the case from the perspective of different moral frameworks.

(b) Try to name the ethical issues in one sentence. For example, you might find that one professional obligation seems to conflict with another.

(c) Choose the course of action that stands the test of multiple moral frameworks. Use the different frameworks to help justify the approach. Seek consensus.

*Jonsen, A, M. Siegler, W. Winslade. Clinical Ethics: A Practical Approach to Ethical Decisions in Clinical Medicine, 7th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill-Medical, 2010.