Compare the Golden Rule to the Platinum Rule

How can a mental health professional with Christian beliefs demonstrate the Platinum rule when working with clients who have diverse worldviews?

Gold and platinum are elements. Rules are behavioral guides for conduct. Gold occurs pure in natural form, while Platinum is a catalyst. The earth being fragmental material composing part of the surface of the globe operating in a sphere of balance (equilibrium).

Understanding this fundamental definition leads to an appreciation of both doctrines. Namely, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you (Golden Rule, natural)” and/or “Do unto others as they would want done unto themselves (Platinum Rule, catalyst).”

In person-centered care, it may be a more appropriate standard to focus on the Platinum Rule for achieving optimal results (Chochinov, 2022). An individual (personal) centered approach is necessary, assuming everyone abides by the same standards (kindness, fairness, respect, empathy). An outer focus is needed as well (others) to understand how one interprets (kindness, fairness, respect, empathy).

Effective communication utilizes an interwoven approach between each in how we see ourselves and how others see themselves (Chochinov, 2022). As the patient’s values and priorities align with our own, we can infer their needs based on how we would want to be treated in their situation.

A professional with Christian views may have justified Golden Rule values of wisdom and ethics (decency, manners, faith). Demonstrating these beliefs or enforcing them to others is not the best approach and may lead to inaccurate perceptions of another person’s suffering—that can lead to well-intended advice, actions, or inactions being completely at odds with what the patient really wants. Instead of feeling heard, a distorted compassion can result in patients feeling devalued, misunderstood, and further demoralized at the very hands of those who are meant to help.

The proverb, “know thyself,” allows insight into your own darkness so that we may comprehend another’s heart. Knowing yourself and who patients are as people, can guide treatment decisions and shape the tone of care based on compassion, respect, and flexibility as defined by the client.

Understanding and demonstrating the Golden Rule generates the strength of will to meet the complexities of the Platinum Rule.

References

Chochinov, H. M. (2022). The platinum rule: A new standard for person-centered care. Journal of Palliative Medicine, 25(6). https://doi.org/10.1089/jpm.2022.0075

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