What are the potential ethical tensions in multi-disciplinary work?
We welcome you to participate in our presentation addressing the potential ethical tensions that surface in multi-disciplinary social work practice.
We are filming from the University of Western Australia and would like to acknowledge that :The Whadjuk/Nyungar people are the traditional owners of the land on which we stand. We recognise their strength and resilience. We pay our respects to Elders, past, present and future.
We are a group of first year social work Masters students who have undergraduate degrees in different disciplines. These include Australian Indigenous Studies and History [These include Australian Indigenous Studies and History, Law, Anatomy, Arts and Psychology , as such you could say we are a multi-disciplinary team ourselves!
It is likely that after graduation, we will find ourselves working alongside doctors, lawyers and a number of varied professionals. This practice is termed multi-disciplinary work.
At the outset we should note that multi-disciplinary work is a concept distinct to interprofessional or interdisciplinary work. Lesley Chenoweth and Donna McAuliffe describe multi-disciplinary work as situations where different professionals contribute their own skills and knowledge to their work, and are co-located. Rosalie Pockett suggests that interdisciplinary work entails greater active integration of the skills of the professionals involved, where the professionals aim for shared understandings. Lastly, Della Freeth et al define interprofessional practice as professionals working as a team “with a common purpose, commitment and mutual respect”.
This presentation focuses on ethical tensions which may arise in this multi-disciplinary setting, where the work of different professionals need not be integrated and professionals don’t necessarily share a common goal.
Ethical tensions are distinct from moral tensions. According to Donna McAuliffe, moral tensions are related to behaviours and what is considered right and wrong, whereas ethical tensions arise from the assumptions and principles underlying what different professionals consider right and wrong - the rational foundation for morality. This presentation focuses on the tensions in a multi-disciplinary setting, that stem from these underlying assumptions and principles.
The presentation consists of a series of seven videos, some of which are followed by a question and/or task for you to consider. You can pause at any time and take as much time as you need to complete the tasks.
To extend and share your own and others’ learning please feel free to express your opinions or submit answers to the questions posed in the comments section under the videos.
You may want to take notes so please get pen and paper and then make yourselves comfortable. Click on the next slide to start.
Chenoweth, L & McAuliffe D 2015, The road to social work and human service practice, 4th ed, Cengage Learning Australia, Melbourne.
McAuliffe, D 2014, Interprofessional Ethics: Collaboration in the social, health and human services, Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria.