We look back in life so often but do we really take in and evaluate what has happened and how we can learn from it. This online ethics has not moved mountains for me, but has taken me down roads that would never have been thoroughly worked through in a lecture or textbook. There have been a few topics that you would initially look at and think that there is a very straight forward and obvious answer to it, until you read other peoples post, views and challenging questions that get posed to you. Then you realise, it isn’t that simple. This post will cover a few topics that intrigued me and that I thought I took something away from. To conclude my introduction to this post, I will like to ensure you that I will follow a process- and content oriented approach to the evaluation of an initially perceived ethics module that is chaotic, but thought-provoking.
Firstly, I can definitely say that I learnt a lot when it comes to the process of blogging. Links, hyperlinks, media and networking with other professionals, class mates and fellow physiotherapists across the world is fascinating. I saw myself as a pretty well educated, technologically savvy individual; not until I didn’t know how to add a video to a post. I now take many tricks from this experience. Most of all, I believe that it is important to build on your social presence in online spaces. Not only does it indicate that you are searchable and present, but that you hold capture a very unique subjective reality that you can share with millions of others. This platform also enable us to share our perspectives in what I consider a safe and controlled environment, thus stimulating each individual to have confidence to engage across difference and professions.
When I first thought about this ethics course I saw our class sitting in a lecture room gunning each other’s views and opinions like we at war because that’s just how our strongly opinionated class enjoy discussing things. I found that doing this course in this manner taught me to appreciate and take in other individual’s views and feel free to question and discuss issues at hand. Not everyone is loud and overly expressive in person, which gives us the platform to express our views without being judged or be at a loss for words if discussed in front of a class. Like Mae mentions in her final post that it gives people a voice when they usually don’t use it in these types of discussions. I believe in a metaphoric saying which goes like this “with limited resources (knowledge) come limited possibilities (solutions)”. I trust that with us sharing knowledge and perspectives, I believe that we can achieve much more than our single, narrow-focused perspective.
I found that when you received a comment on your post, you were immediately being confronted on your personal views. At first I felt a bit reluctant to still entertain it but as the weeks went by you realise that you would never ask yourself those questions. Receiving others questions, ideas and views leaves you with an open mind. I then relooked at the situations at hand and found myself scratching my head not having answers to those which were posed. Interacting with others left me with an open mind. To look at a situation and be willing to re-evaluate oneself and be willing to adapt takes a lot of acceptance to the fact that your view is just one of many out there. This just enables me to take this into practice and remember these learning curves when I find myself facing an ethical dilemma.
The topics I enjoyed most were equality, morality and empathy. Equality is a huge issue in our country and discussing the instances in the medical field broadens the issue into a whole new way. No matter what we believe in, we as health professionals have guidelines that we have to follow that the HPCSA have drawn up. The morality topic really interested me as I strongly believe in what I was taught and how I was raised. Questions about how I will adapt if I was faced with something completely different threw me a bit as I wouldn’t know how to proceed if I was faced with apposing ideas.
My favourite saying of late: “The only certainty in the world is that multiple realities exist and that there is no objective reality besides time and space”. As human beings we find comfort and peace in what we are sure of-objective reality. Since objectivity cannot be found in subjectivity, but that subjectivity can still be found in our objectivity, we should therefore strive for multiple perspectives on ethically and morally ambiguous situations. Echoing my single expectation of the course, which was to increase knowledge and understanding of principles related to professional ethics, I can confidently state that I deepened my world view on confusing issues that confront us on a daily basis. I appreciate each and every contribution to my posts and the course, and I hope that we will continue to use social constructivism as our paradigm to create new knowledge that is socially and contextually sensitive. This is of importance if we would like to make a change in South Africa.