Wednesday, August 31, 2011

It's all relative?

One of the biggest challenges in ethics is the subject of moral relativism. Without getting too deep into the philosophy here, we'll just take a shortcut by saying that relativism argues that what's right for one group of people may be wrong for another. For example, polygamy is not universally accepted, but in some groups it is the norm.

For the practice of midwifery, particularly when we serve mothers and families who come from cultural backgrounds that are different than our own, relativism can pose challenges to our decision-making processes. This concern may be magnified even great for midwives who travel to other countries to practice.

Have you encountered the issue of relativism in your practice? We welcome your stories (please comment here). We also provide some case examples in our book.

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