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Title: Professional Ethics


1
Professional Ethics
  • For the Health and Safety Professional
  • June 2004
  • ASSE Conference Las Vegas

2
Dr. Peter Strahlendorf B.Sc., LL.B., LL.M.,
S.J.D., B.E.S., CRSP
  • Associate Professor
  • School of Occupational and Public Health
  • Ryerson University
  • Toronto, Canada

3
Pick One
  • Ethics cannot be taught. You are able to sense
    what is right, good and just, and are motivated
    to act or you are not.
  • 2. While people differ in their abilities, most
    people can improve their ethical decision-making
    through education and practice.

4
A Personal Challenge to the Science-Oriented
  • Do we think differently when thinking
    scientifically than when thinking ethically?
  • Can you find scientific answers to the questions
    what is reasonable?, or what is fair?
  • This is part of the art of OHS practice.

5
Professional Ethics
  • What is a profession?
  • What is ethics?
  • What is professional ethics?
  • Ethical theories
  • Thinking about professional ethics
  • Professional values
  • Codes of Ethics

6
Do you agree?
  • It is always wrong to intentionally take an
    innocent life?

7
Do you agree?
  • The right course of action is to weigh the
    consequences of action and choose the action that
    leads to the greatest good for the greatest
    number?

8
Two Valid Moral Positions
  • The first is Kantianism
  • Kant Right or wrong regardless of consequences
  • The second is Utilitarianism
  • Utilitarianism Right or wrong depending on
    consequences
  • Most people agree with both positions

9
Dilemma
  • The hijacked plane with 200 people is approaching
    a building with 50,000 people
  • Vote! Will you shoot down the plane?

10
Dilemma
  • You cannot subscribe to both principles in the
    case.
  • A true moral dilemma
  • Which position has the greatest weight in the
    circumstances?

11
Orientation
  • Aim to show several different ways to think
    through a problem in professional ethics, rather
    than merely describe what professionals say are
    their problems (sociology of ethics).

12
  • Profession
  • Ethics
  • Professional Ethics

13
Profession
  • All professions are occupations, but not all
    occupations are professions
  • Can take a broad or narrow view of what is a
    profession
  • A self-regulated occupational group capable of
    legally prohibiting others (including incompetent
    or unethical members) from practising is a
    narrow view

14
Based Primarily on
  • Morality and the Professional Life
  • Cynthia A. Brincat
  • Victoria S. Wike
  • Prentice Hall, 2000
  • ISBN 0-13-915729-8

15
Profession
  • 1. Group identity
  • 2. Shared education, training -- requirements
    for admission
  • 3. Special uncommon knowledge
  • 4. Knowledge used in the service of others
    positive social need
  • 5. Involves individual judgment, (some)
    autonomy in decisions
  • 6. Adherence to certain values
  • 7. Penalties for substandard performance

16
Profession
  • Matter of degree there are many emerging
    professions.
  • Obstacle in the way of the OHS professional is
    the diverse nature of practice with competing
    co-professionals.

17
Profession
  • You are not a professional until you are a member
    of a group of colleagues who have articulated a
    set of standards and values and can enforce them,
    at the very least, by exclusion from the group.

18
Professionalism
  • 1. Skill, competency in work
  • 2. Relational element work will be
    beneficial to others
  • Work itself doesnt have moral status
  • Execution of work has moral status

19
Recognizing when Were in the Realm of Ethics
  • Watch the language
  • Right and wrong -- Actions
  • Good and bad -- Motives, methods, goals

20
Professional Ethics
  • Purpose Helps professional decide when faced
    with a problem that raises a moral issue
  • Complexity Can be many people, with many issues
    involved may be involved history to the issues
    may be an issue WHO decides, not just WHAT
    decided.

21
Ethics and Morality
  • Morality making choices with reasons
  • Ethics the study of HOW the choices are made,
    ie ethics is the study of morality
  • Often use ethics and morality interchangeably

22
General vs Professional
  • General Ethics individual as member of
    community, broader range of issues, top down
    principles
  • Professional Ethics moral expectations specific
    to the occupational group, tend to focus on
    concrete bottom up cases

23
Morality and Ethics
  • Professional Morality what we do in our
    occupational lives
  • Professional Ethics the study of what we do in
    our professional lives

24
Ethics and Law
  • Law the authority is external
  • Ethics the authority is internal
  • Much of law, but not all, is based in morality
  • Sometimes law is unethical
  • Much of what is ethical is unaddressed by legal
    rules

25
Professional Ethics and Law
  • There is a moral duty to obey the law (with some
    caveats)
  • Professional ethics covers more issues than the
    law
  • One can be unethical without behaving illegally
  • Rare ethically must resist the law

26
Professional Ethics and Law
  • Be very careful not to embark in an exercise in
    ethical analysis when there is a clear legal rule
    in the situation that trumps the entire process
    of ethical analysis.

27
Professional Ethics and Law
  • Be very careful not to assume that there is a
    legal rule for every situation. Often the gaps
    between legal rules require one to switch to an
    ethical analysis.

28
Ethics
  • Descriptive ethics What IS
  • Prescriptive ethics What OUGHT to be
  • We do not seek to study professional ethics as a
    sociologist would, but to assist with choices
    about what one ought to do.

29
Descriptive Ethics
  • 2002 British study by Burgess and Mullen
  • 77 of hygienists had witnessed ethical
    misconduct by colleagues within last 5 years.

30
Descriptive Ethics
  • Burgess and Mullen study. Most common cases
  • Plagiarism
  • Confidentiality of data
  • Faked data
  • Criticizing colleagues for gain
  • Holding back, disguising data
  • Destruction of data
  • Not reporting incident deliberately

31
Descriptive Ethics
  • Patricia Logan 2001, USA. Reported reasons for
    misbehavior, hygienists
  • Economic pressure
  • Transition from employee to consultant results in
    compromises
  • Working in foreign countries
  • Lack of legal standards
  • Working on contingency basis
  • Decrease in job security

32
Descriptive to Prescriptive
  • Two very different ways of reasoning.
    Descriptive, or scientific, studies of
    professional ethics help us identify issues that
    need to be included in Code of Ethics and in
    educational programs. Gives us our case
    studies.

33
Prescriptive Ethics
  • What OUGHT to be
  • The words used are different good-bad,
    right-wrong, just-unjust
  • Thought processes use values, goods, virtues,
    rules, ethical theories, moral reasons, moral
    explanations, and moral decisions.

34
Why the Interest in Professional Ethics?
  1. As occupations become more specialized, the
    ethical issues become more specialized
  2. Professional societies have increased efforts to
    establish ethical codes to guide members
  3. Increasing public scrutiny, lack of traditional
    deference
  4. Regulatory oversight, public protection

35
  • Moral Reasoning

36
Machinery of Prescriptive Ethics
  • Rules e.g. always tell the truth
  • Values e.g. Integrity
  • The two are intimately related.

37
Prescriptive Ethics
  • Judgments should be
  • universalizable or generalizable
  • Judgments should apply to like cases and not be
    case-specific or subjective
  • If it applies to me now, it should apply to
    anyone else in a similar position.

38
Moral Relativism
  • Ethical values are relative to time, place and
    culture
  • Moral beliefs are subjective and arbitrary
  • Its all a matter of personal opinion
  • Decisions shift easily

39
Moral Absolutism
  • Ethical values completely objective
  • Unchangeable, universal, no exceptions
  • Comparatively inflexible
  • Neither position tenable.

40
Objectivity
  • Codes of ethics require objectivity, which means
    that there are principles and values outside of
    the individual that the members of the community
    share and that individuals will be measured
    against.

41
Objectivity
  • Thinking reasonably is thinking morally.
  • Samuel Johnson

42
Reasonable Person -- Peer
  • What would the reasonable peer do in the
    circumstances?
  • Reasonable person mature, sane, sober,
    well-informed, well-intentioned, open-minded,
    calm, detached but empathetic
  • Reasonable peer add expertise.

43
Moral Decisions
  • Reasons explain a decision
  • Reason Reason Decision
  • Explanation System of reasons

44
A Moral Reason
  • Is general, not particular or contingent
  • reason, not instinct or external authority
  • not selfishness
  • moral value, not economic, legal, social value

45
Moral Explanation
  • At least one of the reasons justifying a decision
    is a moral reason.
  • This identifies, but does not evaluate a moral
    explanation.

46
Dilemma
  • Explanation 1
  • Reason Reason ? Decision 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Reason Reason ?? Decision 2
  • May or may not be a MORAL dilemma

47
Non-Moral Dilemma
  • 1. I should work late and finish the work I
    promised Id finish.
  • 2. I should leave and go to a party because I
    like parties and want to enjoy myself.
  • 1. universalizable, non-selfish, moral value
    (integrity, responsibility, promises)
  • 2. non-moral reasons and decision.

48
Moral Dilemma
  • Moral Explanation 1
  • Moral reason reason Decision 1
  • Moral Explanation 2
  • Moral reason reason Decision 2

49
Resolution of Dilemmas
  • Some dilemmas are resolved because they are not
    moral dilemmas.
  • Some MORAL dilemmas can be resolved through a
    creative third alternative that satisfies both
    moral outcomes.
  • Or, possible to sequentially act on each one.
  • Or, evaluation will show which is strongest moral
    explanation and decision.

50
Evaluate Moral Reasons
  • STRONG
  • relevant to decision
  • concern with person(s) most affected by decision
  • focussed on values of central importance
  • WEAK
  • tends to be irrelevant
  • not concerned with person(s) most affected by
    decision
  • emphasizes peripheral values

51
Evaluate Moral Explanations
  • STRONG
  • use several perspectives (consequences, motives,
    rights, virtues, etc.)
  • considers all persons
  • many values
  • WEAK
  • narrow focus
  • selective concern
  • fewer values

52
  • Ethical Theories

53
A Moral Theory
  • Is a broad perspective which
  • helps us decide which element of a moral problem
    is most important (e.g. consequences, rights,
    goods, virtues, etc.)
  • helps us resolve conflicts between rules and
    between values.

54
How We Come by Moral Theories
  • Family
  • Religion
  • Culture
  • Experience and reflection
  • Education

55
Moral Action Theories -- Doing
  • consequences for community
  • rights of individuals
  • duties of individuals
  • What correct course of action should I take?

56
Moral Status Theories - Being
  • Virtue, character
  • Care, relationships
  • Narrative, history and plans
  • What kind of person should I be?

57
Human Goods
  • Life, health
  • Knowledge
  • Play
  • Art
  • Friendship
  • Self-evidently good

58
Human Goods
  • Human life considered to be fundamental good,
    pre-conditional good
  • Human life is not measurable, life is priceless
  • Leads to dilemmas in the workplace

59
Consequentialism
  • The greatest good for the greatest number
  • an act is right only if it tends to result in the
    greatest net good
  • all acts are potentially permissible depends on
    consequences
  • all persons count equally
  • difficult to determine which consequences, what
    probability, what weight?
  • May sacrifice individuals for greater good

60
Consequentialism
  • Utilitarianism is major consequentialist theory
  • Not the only one
  • May aim for human goods as a matter of duty,
    without a strict utilitarian calculation

61
Rights-Based Theories
  • Right justified claim on someone
  • Right-holder may or may not claim right
  • Which rights?
  • Which rights more fundamental? Or pressing?
  • An act is morally right if it respects and
    upholds rights
  • Respects individuals, bearers of rights
  • Good of community may be sacrificed for right of
    individual

62
Duty-Based Theories
  • Duty obligation, responsibility
  • Considers motive or intention of decision-maker,
    plus nature of act, rights, consequences
  • Good motive, means are acceptable, nature of act
    is good
  • Consequences are of secondary consideration
  • Recognizes complexity
  • Value of individual is important
  • May sacrifice community good for the sake of
    individual duty

63
Kantianism
  • Often viewed as a duty-based theory
  • But rights emerge from duty to treat others with
    respect
  • X has a duty to Y
  • Y has a right that X must respect
  • E.g. right to know and duty to tell

64
Kantianism
  • Deontological prior to action
  • Decide if an act is right or wrong without
    looking at consequences
  • Motivated by reason alone
  • Universal moral imperatives
  • Reason tells us that something is always right
    all can follow without contradiction

65
Kantianism
  • Duty to
  • Always tell the truth
  • Always avoid taking an innocent life
  • Always treat others as ends in themselves and
    never as means solely Basis of respect for
    persons

66
Virtue-Based Theories
  • Act for the sake of virtue, or as a virtuous
    person would
  • A virtue is a good character trait or disposition
  • Tendency to act in a way that promotes human good
    or human flourishing
  • Vice is a bad character trait
  • More people affected by virtue than fewer
  • More virtues expressed than fewer
  • BUT, some virtues may be more important than
    others
  • Whole person considered, not isolated acts
  • Virtues may be culturally specific

67
Virtues
  • Examples
  • Benevolence
  • Justice
  • Loyalty
  • Friendliness
  • Courage
  • Honesty
  • Integrity

68
  • Moral Reasoning
  • Part 2

69
Using Moral Theories
  • Not what is decided, but HOW it is decided
  • Theories identify values and interpret values
  • A persons moral theory explains why they hold
    the values they do

70
Professional Ethics
  • Professionals work involves decision-making
  • Ones own decisions, decisions of others
  • Relational component to professional work
  • Must understand reasons and decisions of others
  • Must make own decisions in context of others
    decisions

71
Moral Framework
  • Provide a Moral Explanation by
  • Appeal to a Rule (rightness, wrongness)
  • Using a Theory (perspective)
  • Applying a Value
  • in order to make a Decision

72
Moral Framework
  • Analysis decision is already made
  • Decision-making decision still to come
  • Analysis ?
  • Decision?Rule?Theory?Value
  • Decision-making ?

73
  • Professional
  • Values and Virtues

74
Common Professional Values
  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Promise keeping
  • Loyalty
  • Competence

75
Common Professional Values
  • Respect for persons
  • Justice
  • Compassion
  • Confidentiality

76
Comparison
  • Medicine and law services relate primarily to
    persons
  • Engineering and other science based professions
    services relate primarily to things
  • OHS professional services relate to both more
    complex

77
Comparison
  • Medicine and law solo practice or partnership
  • Engineering employee in organization
  • OHS professional Consultant, employee, official
  • -- Wider issues of responsibility
  • -- Relations, context, conflicts, values not
    always the same

78
Integrity
  • Most common value in professional codes
  • Keystone value
  • Consistent commitment to moral commitments
  • Structural integrity our moral character is
    the same, whole, integrated
  • Cant commit to conflicting standards and have
    integrity

79
Integrity and Honesty
  • Related values
  • Honest people have integrity
  • To be true to a system of values, one must be
    honest
  • Integrity requires being committed to honesty
  • Honesty is a way of valuing integrity

80
Problem
  • Brilliant, first class OHS professional but he
    suggested a scheme many years ago we would
    advise clients only solution to a certain
    regulation was purchase of a very expensive
    storage tank for which we and our third partner
    (unknown to client) would have sole vending
    rights

81
Integrity and Honesty
  • Rules
  • admit errors
  • refrain from false/misleading
    pretences competency
  • advise clients truthfully
  • dont fool with the numbers
  • dont steal others work -- plagiarism

82
Problem
  • A few years ago, heard that Tony, a former
    student was claiming that he was a professor in
    OHS at our university in his consulting adverts.
  • Investigated His flyer said engaged with
    instruction at Ryerson in OHS for 4 years .. .
    Verbally interpreted as teaching.

83
Problem
  • We like to order more copies of your training
    manual
  • Never heard of the company not a client.
  • How did you get original training manuals?
  • Oh, Mr X used them when he did training for us
    last year.

84
Integrity and Promise Keeping
  • Lack of integrity/honesty say X, mean Y
  • Integrity follow through on promises
  • Be careful about promises as may jeopardize
    integrity
  • OHS consultant promise more than one can deliver?

85
Problem
  • Bait and Switch
  • Albert Einstein does the pitch but Gomer Pyle
    shows up to do the OHS work .

86
Problem
  • Consultant promises to
  • Get you to world class safety in 3 months
  • Get your accidents to zero
  • Ensure compliance
  • Or head office wants you, the employee, to agree
    to the above.

87
Integrity and Loyalty/Dependability
  • Avoid actions that degrade integrity of
    profession loyalty to profession
  • Be loyal to professions goals
  • If committed to profession, be committed to
    professions goals
  • Dependability is a display of loyalty
  • Loyalty to employers goals

88
Disloyalty to Professions Goals
  • OHS professional
  • Advocates high risk behaviour?
  • Chooses incompatible values to promote?
  • Displays risky behaviour in personal life?

89
Problem
  • Member of a professional OHS group, certified by
    that group, set up his own designation and
    offered short courses for for people to obtain
    the designation. In his advertising, he said the
    new designation was just as good as the
    original, only half as expensive and 1/10 the
    time.

90
Conflicts Involving Integrity
  • Commitment to our commitments
  • What if 2 or more commitments in conflict?
  • Creatively find alternatives where not at odds
  • Often values not in true conflict, but
    interpretation of values
  • May be a greater commitment to some values than
    others compromise necessary in world of scarce
    resources

91
Problem
  • Protect life, environment, and property.
  • Do not compromise.
  • Possible?
  • Are the values of equal priority when commitments
    come into conflict?

92
Whistleblowing
  • Disclosure of wrong-doing
  • Conflict protection of life versus loyalty
  • Honesty versus loyalty
  • Honesty versus promise keeping

93
Problem
  • Your report shows areas of high risk,
    non-compliance, errors etc.
  • Your superior or client rewrites the report,
    eliminating your data and conclusions, or buries
    the report.
  • Duty to warn in conflict with .

94
Whistleblowing
  • Explore all options to avoid conflict
  • Creativity and clarification often reduce
    conflict
  • Compromise between values often possible
  • Distinguish between internal versus public
    whistleblowing

95
Whistleblowing
  • Some cases of public whistleblowing excessive and
    involve motives of spite, revenge,
    self-justification
  • Best companies have addressed whistleblowing and
    protect it provide internal mechanisms
  • Hard cases requiring self-sacrifice actually
    rare, involve high risk

96
Competency
  • Part of the meaning of professional is to
    possess special, uncommon knowledge and skills.
  • Dont have to be best in profession, just above
    threshold.
  • Redundant to put in Codes of Ethics?,
  • as incompetent person should not have been
    granted status, or should have been weeded out?

97
Competency Duty to Maintain
  • Far more important is a duty to keep up, to
    maintain competence.
  • As technology and knowledge improve, the bar of
    professional practice is raised.
  • Standing still results in eventual incompetence.

98
Problem
  • A few years ago, a well known member of the
    profession stated publicly that a failure to
    adopt behavior-based safety was professional
    malpractice (hence, unethical).
  • Agree?

99
Problem
  • Insofar as BBS is behavioral psychology, we
    would be missing out on cognitive psychology,
    developmental psychology, evolutionary
    psychology, etc. etc.

100
Solution
  • Professional groups should be leery of declaring
    that certain theories and techniques are true
    or established.
  • Better approach is the PDC approach where
    competing and novel ideas are not barred.
    Gradual, contingent acceptance is the pathway.

101
Areas of Competence
  • Extremely important in a profession
  • where people come from a wide variety of
    disciplines
  • there are many areas of specialization, and
  • there are other professions adjacent

102
Problems
  1. You are asked to provide expert evidence in an
    area that you are not truly an expert.
  2. Head office wants all locations to institute a
    certain safety technique about which you know
    little.
  3. You observe a colleague offering services in
    areas you know he or she has little competence.

103
Respect for Persons
  • All persons are due basic respect and a dignity
    which is to be respected
  • Kant treat every person as as end, and not as a
    means solely
  • Other people are not merely a method for our own
    goals others have their own goals
  • Others may be used with informed consent
    contracts are moral

104
Respect for Persons
  • Distributive justice - distributive criterion for
    basic respect and dignity is personhood
  • Respect on a continuum - desert beyond the basic
    minimum
  • Respect for certain aspects of others integrity,
    wisdom, honesty, skill, experience
  • Basis of respect for professional peers

105
Respect for Persons
  • Professional - show basic respect for every
    person, even if not felt
  • Not hypocrisy
  • Many professional codes refer to a right to
    respectful care on part of client/patient
  • Confidentiality, privacy, autonomy, choice,
    informed consent, self-development, empowerment

106
Problem
  • OHS professional transferred to companys gold
    mine in South Africa. A large portion of miners
    were HIV positive, and life expectancy averaged 2
    years. Companys unstated position that spending
    on safety uneconomical due to short life span of
    workers? Solution?

107
Justice
  • Justice as fairness
  • Involves balancing, weighing and conforming
    to a standard
  • Moral psychology people have a sense of
    justice
  • Four forms of justice Commutative, distributive,
    retributive and procedural

108
Commutative Justice
  • Unfair to leave a harm uncorrected.
  • X does harm to Y. Take from X to compensate Y so
    as to address the imbalance. Basis of law of
    torts.
  • Fairness lies in putting people back in the
    position they would have been in had the harm not
    been done

109
Distributive Justice
  • Fairness in distributions
  • Distribute X according to pre-agreed criterion Y
    (need, ability to pay, merit, status, personhood)
  • We distribute DVD players on the basis of ability
    to pay, university degrees on the basis of merit,
    and human rights on the basis of personhood

110
Retributive Justice
  • Balance severity of punishment with severity of
    harm for which punishment imposed
  • Severe punishment for severe wrongs, light for
    slight
  • Workplace discipline should be fair in such a
    balanced fashion.

111
Procedural Justice
  • Fairness in decision-making about others
    interests
  • Unbiased decision-maker
  • Hear both sides
  • Mutual disclosure, notice
  • Treat both sides equally
  • Balance between the parties

112
Justice
  • Treat like cases alike
  • Justice ? equality, Justice equity
  • Equal and unequal treatment could both be fair
  • Rewarding and punishing can both be fair
  • Not always concerned with legal version(s) of
    justice

113
Justice in the Workplace
  • Fair compensation for services
  • Equal treatment in process
  • Unfair competitive practices
  • Appropriate (fair) discipline
  • Hearing both sides in a dispute
  • No bias re grounds of discrimination

114
Professional Codes Justice
  • Accountability -- punish professionals who
    violate standards
  • Duty to report colleagues wrong-doing for
    retributive justice to be carried out
  • Fairness warning, reprimand, suspension,
    expulsion from group

115
Professional Codes Justice
  • Fairness in distribution of professional services
    -- no discrimination
  • More than one form of justice can be in play at
    same time

116
Compassion
  • A professional is compassionate
  • No relational sensitivity no professional
    life
  • Compassion is a feeling
  • No obligation to feel compassion, but an
    obligation to act compassionately
  • Some believe professional is dispassionate

117
Compassion
  • Concern for others
  • Strongly relational employer-employee,
    colleague-colleague, professional-client
  • Imagine (if you cant ask) what it would be like
    in the others shoes
  • Not knowing better, but knowing as

118
Compassion
  • Two rules
  • Alleviate suffering
  • Act in other persons actual (to them) best
    interest

119
Confidentiality
  • Confidentiality regarding
  • Whose interests
  • Which interests

120
Confidentiality
  • Confidential information of
  • Worker
  • Employer
  • Colleague
  • Competitor

121
Confidentiality
  • Medical information
  • CBI confidential business information
  • Legal rules exist in many jurisdictions for both.

122
Problem
  • Youve won the contract but how about including
    these features of your competitors work from
    his proposal -- into your services. We insist
  • Should you? Aiding in a breach of
    confidentiality by the client?

123
Problem
  • You signed a confidentiality agreement when
    consulting for a world class company - X. During
    the contract you learn many highly effective
    techniques. Later you are asked to give a talk
    at a PD conference on Xs world class safety
    techniques.

124
Problem
  • If clear contractual language, not an ethical
    issue but a legal one.
  • Yet, contractual non-confidentiality clauses do
    not typically capture experience.
  • Not simple, outside of legal issue, as failure to
    share knowledge a breach of a professional
    standard. Lives may be saved with broader use of
    technique.

125
Problem
  • You signed a confidentiality agreement, and began
    contract. Discovered
  • An issue of high risk, the company ignoring or
  • An issue of high risk, the company actively
    covering up, lying or
  • An issue of high risk, the company knows its in
    clear legal non-compliance.

126
Conflicts
  • Human life versus property
  • e.g. Right to know versus trade secrets
  • Human life versus environment
  • e.g. Take time to ensure PPE of response crew
    versus speed in preventing chemical reaching
    natural environment

127
Conflict of Interest
  • Usually refers to conflict between professional
    duties and personal interests
  • Can also refer to conflict between professional
    duties/values and other values

128
Objective Decision-making
  • Often expressed in Codes of Ethics
  • Opposite of subjectivity
  • Does the decision and the reasoning behind it
    hold up to scrutiny by the reasonable peer?
  • No bias, truthfulness, no conflict of interest

129
Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA)
  • Commonly used to guide action
  • Related to risk benefit analysis
  • 1. What are alternatives?
  • 2. Identify costs and benefits of each
  • 3. Quantify
  • 4. Calculate net gain of each
  • 5. Choose one with greatest net gain

130
Criticism of CBA
  • 1. Not all costs/benefits identified
  • 2. Correct weight not given
  • 3. Action may be greatest net gain but morally
    impermissible from another moral perspective
  • 4. Appears scientific or value free but
    not
  • 5. Merely a utilitarian technique

131
Environmental Protection
  • 1. Protect human interest in the environment,
    versus
  • 2. Protect the environment for its own sake
  • Environmental ethics is problematic
  • -- rights for non-moral creatures?
  • -- universalizability of principles?

132
Protection of Property
  • Often denigrated as a value
  • Compares poorly with human life
  • Yet, pre-condition to many aspects of human
    flourishing
  • Implicit in organizational values of commercial
    enterprises
  • An issue in many dilemmas and cannot be ignored

133
Relations with Colleagues
  • Distinguish between duties to profession as an
    institution and duties to professional colleagues
  • Dont bring profession into disrepute
  • Treat colleagues in a professional manner

134
Relations with Colleagues
  • Co-operative
  • Respect
  • Egalitarian
  • Supportive and helpful
  • Openness
  • No blatant crude competition
  • Intra-professional recognition based on merit
  • Maintenance of discipline

135
  • Professional
  • Codes of Ethics

136
Code of Ethics
  • Clarifies values and rules
  • Facilitates group cohesion
  • Instills necessary public confidence
  • Used as framework for discipline

137
Code of Ethics -- The Audience
  • 1. Members of profession
  • 2. Clients, employers
  • 3. Agencies and regulators
  • 4. Public at large
  • 5. Professional competitors

138
Code of Ethics -- Positive
  • 1. Inspirational?
  • 2. Educational?
  • 3. Enforcement, self-policing
  • 4. Resolve moral dilemmas?
  • 5. Alert audience of expected standard of
    performance

139
Code of Ethics -- Negative?
  • 1. Done to polish public image?
  • 2. Protects professional monopoly?
  • 3. Status symbol of emerging profession?
  • 4. Can instill complacency (we have a code of
    ethics, therefore we are ethical)
  • 5. Cannot create an ethics
  • 6. Cannot truly codify ethics
  • 7. Of marginal ability to resolve ethical
    dilemmas without collateral education

140
Code of Ethics
  • Examine each statement in Code
  • Where do you see the professional values we have
    been reviewing?
  • Do we agree they need unpacking and further
    study to see what they really mean in
    application?
  • Do we agree that a Code of Ethics is good, but
    not sufficient?

141
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • Duty to serve and protect people, property and
    environment.
  • Exercise duty with integrity, honor and dignity.

142
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • Principles
  • 1. Protect people, property and the environment
    through the application of state-of-the-art
    knowledge.

143
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • Principles
  • 2. Serve the public, employees, employers,
    clients and the Society with fidelity, honesty
    and impartiality.

144
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • Principles
  • Achieve and maintain competency in the practice
    of the profession.
  • Avoid conflicts of interest and compromise of
    professional conduct.
  • Maintain confidentiality of privileged
    information.

145
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • I shall
  • 1.Inform the public, employers, employees,
    clients and appropriate authorities when
    professional judgment indicates that there is an
    unacceptable level of risk.

146
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • I shall
  • Improve knowledge and skills through training,
    education and networking.
  • Perform professional services only in the area of
    competence.

147
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • I shall
  • Issue public statements in a truthful manner, and
    only within the parameters of authority granted.

148
ASSE Code of Professional Conduct
  • I shall
  • Serve as an agent and trustee, avoiding any
    appearance of conflict of interest.
  • Assure equal opportunity to all.

149
BCSP Code of Ethics
  • Certificants shall, in their professional safety
    activities, sustain and advance the integrity,
    honor, and prestige of the safety profession by
    adherence to these standards.

150
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 1. Hold paramount the safety and health of
    people, the protection of the environment and
    protection of property in the performance of
    professional duties and exercise their obligation
    to advise employers, clients, employees, the
    public, and appropriate authorities of danger and
    unacceptable risks to people, the environment, or
    property.

151
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 2. Be honest, fair, and impartial act with
    responsibility and integrity. Adhere to high
    standards of ethical conduct with balanced care
    for the interests of the public, employers,
    clients, employees, colleagues and the
    profession. Avoid all conduct or practice which
    is likely to discredit the profession or deceive
    the public.

152
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 3. Issue public statements only in an objective
    and truthful manner and only when founded upon
    knowledge of the facts and competence in the
    subject matter.

153
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 4. Undertake assignments only when qualified by
    education or experience in the specific technical
    fields involved. Accept responsibility for their
    continued professional development by acquiring
    and maintaining competence through continuing
    education, experience and professional training.

154
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 5. Avoid deceptive acts which falsify or
    misrepresent their academic or professional
    qualifications. Not misrepresent or exaggerate
    their degree of responsibility in or for the
    subject matter of prior assignments.

155
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 5. Continued
  • Presentations incident to the solicitation of
    employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts
    concerning employers, employees, associates, or
    past accomplishments with the intent and purpose
    of enhancing their qualifications and their work.

156
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 6. Conduct their professional relations by the
    highest standards of integrity and avoid
    compromise of their professional judgment by
    conflicts of interest.

157
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 7. Act in a manner free of bias with regard to
    religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national
    origin, disability, marital status, or sexual
    orientation.

158
BCSP Code of Ethics -- Standards
  • 8. Seek opportunities to be of constructive
    service in civic affairs and work for the
    advancement of the safety, health and well-being
    of their community and their profession by
    sharing their knowledge and skills.

159
Summary
  • Examination of professional ethics is important
    for the profession as an institution, and for
    individual professionals
  • Solving problems can be very difficult
    sometimes
  • Better ethical decision-making can come from
    education and practice
  • Education is needed to supplement Code of Ethics

160
  • For an electronic copy of this presentation,
    please email me at
  • strahlen_at_sympatico.ca
  • And put on subject line ethics talk
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