Fundaments of the ethical acting in higher education students

Madalena Cunha, Jéssica Figueiredo, Joana Breia, João Pina, Sónia Almeida, Tiago Oliveira, Maria do Céu Cunha

Abstract


Introduction: It is urgent that higher education in health develop a proactive ethico-moral commitment in students which is translated into the creation of socio-professional values.
Objectives: To evaluate the ethical foundations which support morality in higher education students.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sithectional study, performed in 345 ESSV/IPV students, 80% female, average age of 20.82 years old. The “Questionário de Cidadania Ativa e Modo de Agir Ético” (CiAMAE) by Cunha (2015) was applied.
Results: The results were 74.8% of the students showed a positive/adequate ethical method of acting; (with 45.8% adequate and 29% very adequate). In 25.2% the method of acting was ethically inadequate. The morality of the student’s actions were focused mostly on individualism and were based on the following ethical principles: 68.7% ethical subjectivism (69.1%♂ and 68.6%♀); 56.5% Relativism ( 56.5%♂ and 56.7%♀); 53.9% Deontological Ethics (Kant) (55.8%♂ and 47.0%♀); 11.3% Subjectivism/Ethical Selfishness (7.4%♂ and 12.3%♀).
Conclusions: We may infer that the majority of the students do not have/ do not use an impartial consideration of good as criteria for morality of actions. They mostly manifested accepting an ethical subjectivist perspective, which means that good is not considered as a value for everyone. In contrast, applying the criteria of ethical impartiality would imply considering the greater good, and choosing/adopting the universal point of view in which any rational and enlightened student would choose for him/herself and for others that universal greater good.


Keywords


ethical principles; morality; acting; higher education; students

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