by LJ Frank & Sue DeGregorio-Rosen RN, CLNC
“Conscience is the voice of the soul.” John Jacques Rosseau. Emile. Bk. iv. (1762)
“The moral sense, or conscience, is as much a part of man as his leg or arm.” Thomas Jefferson. Letter to Peter Carr. (1787)
Applying conscience as a moral sense to education and medicine
To apply conscience is an intent to implement social and moral relevancy to our institutions where technology has outpaced our philosophies, theologies, politics and day-to-day relationships within dated paradigms of marriage, family, education, work, community and the politics of “isms”.
We do not buy into the idea that any given “ism” looks good on paper, but in practice it’s another matter. Some do, some don’t. It’s mostly a matter of ethics and morality.
Today, if we compare what works and who stands to benefit, then we become aware of destabilizing inequality. A different perspective is wanted and much needed. Neither capitalism in and of itself nor workers controlling the means of production will work well within the context of what we are witnessing today. Capitalism for example can easily lead to fascism and a form of metaphorical cannibalism – dog eat dog. It inevitably leads to destructive behavior. Greed overwhelms ethical behavior. Democratic Socialism is applicable to various institutions as recognized in Social Security, water and sewer treatment, physical infrastructure, libraries and so forth, but not all institutions.
The problems of the 20th and 2ist century have been among other things – costly wars, detention encampments, walls serving as barricades to restrain or escape from, systemic racism, the inability to collectively strategize plans for plagues and epidemics, an egregious prison system and unequal educational and medical institutions.
Capitalism and its repackaging into various forms of competition with humans are at odds with each other in an advanced high-technology society that only serves to undermine civility and accentuates polarization. Disinformation becomes big business.
Opening the Door
To open the door to education through conscience is an example of the moral process of affirming the dignity of the individual and collective policies of a civilized society.
Free public education can be doable if the money spent giving free tax breaks to the wealthiest and pork spending by Congress are recalibrated with a moral and ethical sense. This means increased participation by the student body to determine what a future university may look like.
My graduate students want to know what the value of my course would be to their future job prospects. What is the university doing to help them secure work? Not everyone is an entrepreneur nor do they have that capability or network. As a teacher I know way too many graduate students working part-time as baristas, clerks or not working at all because they don’t have the network to secure a job with a salary to survive on. Working two or more jobs doesn’t cut it. The appropriate skills, desired personality and presence and knowing someone on the inside have become essential for work that allows an opportunity to live above poverty. The challenge is the system feels rigged for those who have the right family and “class” or “education” or business connections or in a position to make those connections.
The American Dream has been revealed as a hoax perpetrated by the those at the top of the food chain. Become an entrepreneur, borrow money for school and work, the list is endless. There are jobs out there…enough to survive on? Ism’s such as capitalism and its various extreme forms of competition with humans are at odds with each other in an advanced high-technology society only serves to undermine civility.
The future of human survival requires a new paradigm. The epidemic, climate change, nuclear and biological production lines are still evolving – bigger and more potent reinforces the idea that humans are basically primitive, cannibalistic creatures. The Faustian ordeal of selling one’s soul works across all cultures.
Changing the process: In the classroom it means eliminating the grading system that pits one person against the other in competition. Participatory thinking where ideas are shared – the process of shared thinking helps each person to measure how they relate together to solve common issues. Students are not empty vessels waiting to be filled. Students need to be encouraged to achieve personal success and that means following through whether from high school, college and trade school to find a place where they fit in and can gain a sense of self-worth. Only when the educational or medical community work together as one can people work together, and no one is left behind.
The art of medical education
A key question in the medical field – is the art of medical education becoming a very frightening future for those that could really make a difference? We are now living in a world where we view and experience Public Enemy #1 as a mutating virus, ravishing the capable into a tiresome vortex of not only expense, but real danger in survival. It is that and it that much more. The art of medical education is a program that should provide care for the community of the near future. But that program should be safe and should have the ability to evaluate the needs for those regardless of class, gender, and race. Are we capable of influencing the vision of future care while we battle with the unknowns of today?
Health care professionals should be trained to meet the challenges in solving complex problems in our current health care systems. This system is on overload. The current art of medical education does not allow for the student to survive in this system. Education is a complicated process and so the quality improvement should be in both collective training and brining up to individual to a positive standard. The art of medical education is one of our greatest challenges. The health care of our future depends on it.
Free Universal Healthcare will never be free, as long as Big Insurance, Big Pharma and an Unreformed Government rule, we will continue to live under the shadowed promises of revisions and care for the impoverished. We will continue to be ruled by the 0.01%. We will continue to have no privacy. And we will continue to witness the detonation of our freedoms. Our educators and our programs will suffer.
In light of our advancing high technologies and the increasing impoverishment of humanity a new paradigm of conscience is at the door asking to be heard. We need to open the door.