Ethics Conference – An ethics conference is an event devoted to learning about the ethical issues in your career or interest area. Experts invited to speak at the meeting can describe the ethical standards for their profession that are upheld by corporations, trade associations, unions, or other organizations. It is best if they give examples of how those standards are used, explain the consequences of breaking the rules, and explain why the rules are important. The presenters also can give examples of the ethical dilemmas that arise in their professions. These could be dilemmas for which ethical standards have not been written or for which it is difficult to understand how to apply standards.
Ethics in Politics
Political ethics, sometimes called public ethics, is all about making moral judgments in the political sphere. Scholars look at two specific areas: the ethics of process, which focuses on how public officials make decisions, and the ethics of policy, which focuses on the moral foundation of laws and policies.
Ethics in Medicine
In medicine, decisions can have life-or-death consequences, so ethical decision-making is critical in this arena. For thousands of years, the Hippocratic Oath has guided doctors’ decisions. Here’s a modern version:
– I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
– I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with
those who are to follow.
– I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures which are required, avoiding those twin traps of over treatment and therapeutic nihilism.
– I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
– I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
– I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humility and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
– I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems, if I am to care adequately for the sick.
– I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
– I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
– If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.
Ethics in Journalism
Journalists play a critical role in keeping the public informed about the issues of the day. Various journalism organizations, newspapers, and broadcasters have developed codes of ethics for journalists. Here are some main principles common to many of them:
- Be accurate. Present facts honestly and fully. Treat all sides of a controversial issue fairly.
- Name your sources. Whenever feasible, journalists should say where they got their information.
- Respect people’s privacy.
- Correct your mistakes. If you publish something that is wrong, publish a correction promptly.
- Avoid conflicts of interest. Don’t report on something in order to benefit yourself.
- Clearly label as opinion any statements of the journalist’s own views on an issue. Keep those opinions on the editorial page of the newspaper or on a commentary segment of a newscast.
- Never plagiarize, or copy someone else’s work without attributing the material to the original author.
- Avoid stereotyping people. That is, don’t present a simplified image of a group of people—for example, people of a particular
race, age, religion, region, or disability—based on the idea that all people in the group are similar. Each person is an individual.
Ethics in Education
Like other professionals, teachers and education administrators live by a code of ethics. For example, the National Education Association’s code of ethics begins with commitment to the student—helping each student realize his or her potential as a worthy and effective member of society—but also includes commitment to the profession—helping to raise professional standards, promoting a climate that encourages the exercise of professional judgment, achieving conditions that attract others to careers in education, and helping prevent the practice of teaching by unqualified persons.
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