Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics


Facilitating Healthcare Ethics Research: Assessement of Moral Reasoning and Moral Orientation from a Single Interview

Donnie J. Selfa1 and Joy D. Skeela2

a1 Professor in the Departments of Humanities in Medicine, Philosophy, and Pediatrics, Texas A&M University College of Medicine, College Station, Texas

a2 Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Medicine, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo

In recent years, the theoretical work of Gilligan in women's psychological development has led to the development of the concept of moral orientation or moral voice in contrast to the concept of moral reasoning or moral judgment developed by Kohlberg. These concepts have been of particular interest in gender studies, especially as applied to adolescence. These concepts of moral orientation and moral reasoning are being increasingly employed in healthcare ethics studies in a wide variety of settings. The recent work has included studies of physicians, nurses, dentists, veterinarians, social workers, teachers of medical ethics, and hospital ethics committees. However, the study of moral development in healthcare providers has been hampered because collecting the necessary data from healthcare workers has been labor intensive and extremely time consuming. More efficient methods are needed.