Personal values, principles and beliefs
Ethical decision-making and ethical behaviour involve being prepared to take account of the wellbeing of others. In other words, they require making decisions based on values and standards that go beyond self-interest.
Here are some values/principles that underpin ethical thinking and decision-making.
Each person has the right to be an individual and not need to conform to another's expectations.
Accept each person as they are. This includes their lifestyle, culture, colour of skin, religious belief, style of dress, where they live, income, etc.
Each person has the right to make their own choices and decisions and do things their way.
People have a right to their privacy and to know that all information about them is kept confidential unless they approve of the information being shared with others.
Each person has a right to be respected for who they are and not for what others want them to be. This means that young people in detention and supported accommodation need to be treated with as much respect as any other member of the public.
People have the right to express themselves in a way that suits them (including sexual preference, dress, creativity, religious beliefs, etc.), as long as that expression is not hurting someone else.
People have the right to a safe and comfortable environment and to feel safe when they are with others in public.
Many other values and principles could be added to this list, such as:
- how things should be in the world
- how people should act in certain circumstances
- how the important aspects of life are handled (e.g. money, family, relationships, power, male and female roles, etc.)