Report #7, Q2 2016

ACD Gies Ethics Project

Report #7, Q2 2016

David W. Chambers

A Summary of Where We Stand

The past year has been devoted to gathering preliminary data on how dentists and those around them view the ethical dimensions of practice.  We have been working under the assumption that the influence of ethics is complex and that it is inadequate to simply call for everyone to do better.  We have been looking deeper and the drivers of behavior.

Studies Completed:

  • Representative differences between dentists and patients on ethical cases
  • Moral priming (improving ethics by means of public expectations)
  • Relative orientation toward money, technical prowess, law, and ethics

Studies in Progress:

  • Focus groups (listening to patients, dentists, and leaders in the profession in four states)
  • Definition of professionalism
  • Dental office, not dentist, as the unit of analysis – “ethics in practice”
  • Ethical audit system for dental organizations
  • Survey of dental school ethics educators
  • Inventory of primary values of dentists
  • Justifiable criticism of colleagues – the implicit contract between professions and the public

Studies under Development:

  • Sources of practitioners’ ethics and standards
  • Is oral health a valid measure of the ethics of the profession?
  • Formative challenges during the first twelve years of practice
  • Values of all the players in the oral health system
  • What do dentists do when there is an ethical issue?

Interim Report

A presentation of where we stand was made in early August at the Congress of the International Dental Ethics and Law Society.  A draft copy of the paper can be viewed by clicking here on IDEALS or by going to the ACD Gies Ethics Project website http://www.davidwchambers.com/acd-gies and clicking on the IDEALS text link at the top of the page.

The report summarizes the findings of about a dozen studies on dentists’ ethics and begins to make the case for a community of moral practitioners.

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