Moral Reasoning and its Implications for Pharmacy Education


  • David A Latif Bernard J. Dunn School of Pharmacy, Shenandoah University, 1460 University Drive, Winchester, VA 22601, USA


Moral reasoning, Pharmacy education, Patient-focused care, Ethics


A major goal of schools of pharmacy is to graduate well- trained pharmacists who possess both the requisite technical skills needed to be competent pharmacists and who are able and willing to provide patient-focused care. Doing so benefits pharmacy’s major stakeholders: the institution, the pharmacy organization, the patient and society. Moral reasoning is grounded in the cognitive moral development field and attempts to explain the human decision-making process prior to behavior. Why is training in moral reasoning important for pharmacy students? It is important because students at higher levels of moral development may demonstrate an increased probability of adhering to a higher level of patient-focused care. This paper discusses and answers the following questions:

1. What is moral reasoning?

2. Why is training in moral reasoning important to pharmacy

education and can it be measured?

3. How is moral reasoning related to clinical decision-making?

4. How can moral reasoning be fostered in pharmacy students?


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