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Ethics and Moral Reasoning among Medical Laboratory Professionals

by Dr. Benedictus O. Kukoyi

eBook PDF

Pub date: 2008
Pages: 146
ISBN-10: 1581123973
ISBN-13: 9781581123975
Categories: Medical & Health Science


Physicians and patients have received inaccurate medical laboratory test results that have put patients at risk. The purpose of this study is to determine the moral reasoning level of medical laboratory professionals. The theoretical framework that guided this study is grounded by the theories of cognitive development. The study used a population survey and Defining Issues Test, version 2 (DIT-2) questionnaires to collect data. Forty-seven participants from a medical laboratory were surveyed, and hypotheses were tested between moral reasoning scores (dependent variable) and age, gender, level of education, years of experience and job type (independent variables). Data were subjected to ANOVA and the results showed that laboratory professionals’ moral reasoning (N2=26.57, P=30.46) was lower than that of other health care professionals. Training in ethics and moral reasoning are some of the recommendations made. Moral reasoning forms the basis for ethical behavior and good decision making; this is limited in people with poor moral reasoning score, which could result in incorrect laboratory results being reported to patients and physicians. Decisions made by medical laboratory professionals affect patients’ treatment and care.

About the Author

Dr. Kukoyi is a consultant, a certified clinical laboratory scientist and adjunct professor. This study was completed in partial fulfillment of the requirement for Dr. Kukoyi’s Doctor of Philosophy degree in health services, with concentration in health administration.