Tell us about a time when you had to discern between advocating for the health and well-being of the patient and respecting the autonomy of the patient or other participants in the encounter.
Life is full of choices and most people respond to making choices with absolute dread. Whether or not to accept a job offer? Where to go eat? Should you make that risky but potentially lucrative investment? But in a workplace setting, some choices can pose a real conflict for a person forcing them to choose between their moral or ethical principles.
Ethical dilemmas are more than just uncomfortable situations. Ethical dilemmas can have negative consequences and healthcare interpreters are not exempt from facing some serious challenges in their work of bridging communication between two or more people. Yes, we are guided by a National Code of Ethics and National Standards of Practice, but what happens when certain situations force an interpreter to choose one ethical principle over another?
In 2002, the California Healthcare Interpreters Association (with funding from the California Endowment) published the California Standards for Healthcare Interpreters, which included guidance for ethical decision making. While a helpful guide, it’s important that interpreters prepare themselves through engaging in dialogue and sharing of encounters which posed an ethical dilemma through the course of their work. This sharing must be done in a way that respects all parties involved but allows for input from practitioners from all walks of life and all levels of experience.
To that end, the Certification Commission of Healthcare Interpreters (CCHI) is pleased to launch #CCHIchat, a social media forum for healthcare interpreters, trainers, managers, and administrators of language services to engage in a meaningful and respectful way around a series of different categories of ethical dilemmas.
Over the next few months, you will see posts on social media asking you to share examples of situations that you have been confronted with.
Follow #CCHIchat on Facebook and Twitter and please participate! As always… your voice will shape the future of healthcare interpreting, and we hope to have your valuable input as part of this initiative!