Social contract theory as a foundation of the social responsibilities of health professionals
- 689 Downloads
This paper seeks to define and delimit the scope of the social responsibilities of health professionals in reference to the concept of a social contract. While drawing on both historical data and current empirical information, this paper will primarily proceed analytically and examine the theoretical feasibility of deriving social responsibilities from the phenomenon of professionalism via the concept of a social contract.
KeywordsEthics Health care Profession Professionalism Professional ethics Social contract Social responsibilities
The development of this manuscript was made possible in part by engagement in the symposium on “Social Responsibility in the Health Professions: A Critical Exploration”, organized by Dr. Shafik Dharamsi and Professor Tara Fenwick of the University of British Columbia in February of 2009, and funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
- ABIM Foundation, ACP-ASIM Foundation and European Federation of Internal Medicine. 2002. Medical professionalism in the new millennium. A physician charter. Annals of Internal Medicine 136(3): 243–246.Google Scholar
- American Dental Association. 2011. ADA principles of ethics and code of professional conduct. With official advisory opinions revised to January 2011. On-line at: http://www.ada.org/194.aspx. Last accessed on 21 March 2011.
- American Medical Association. 2004. In 1847 Code of ethics. Reprinted in: Encyclopedia of Bioethics, ed. Stephen Post, Vol. 5. 3rd edn, 2657-2662. New York: Macmillan Reference USA.Google Scholar
- American Pharmacists Association. 1994. Code of ethics for pharmacists, adopted by the membership of the American Pharmacists Association on 27 Oct 1994. On-line at http://www.pharmacist.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Search1&template=/CM/HTMLDisplay.cfm&ContentID=2903. Accessed on 5 Oct 2011.
- Aristotle. 1981. Nicomachean ethics (Translated by M. Ostwald). Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill Educational Publishing.Google Scholar
- Arnett, J. 2002. The medical professionalism project and its physician charter: New ethics for a political agenda. Medical Sentinel 7(2): 56-57. On-line at http://www.jpands.org/hacienda/arnett3.html. Last accessed on 21 March 2011.
- Bertolami, C.N. 2003. Why our ethics curricula don’t work. Journal of Dental Education 68(4): 414–425.Google Scholar
- Freidson, E. 1970, Profession of medicine. A study of the sociology of applied knowledge. New York: Dodd and Mead.Google Scholar
- Gauthier, D. 1986. Morals by agreement. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Haiken, E. 1997. Venus envy. A history of cosmetic surgery. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
- Jensen, U.J. 1987. Practice and progress: A theory for the modern health-care system. Oxford: Blackwell Scientific Publications.Google Scholar
- Kultgen, J. 1988. Ethics and professionalism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
- Kymlicka, W. 1993. The social contract tradition. In A companion to ethics, ed. Singer, Peter, Chpt 15, 186–196. Cambridge: Blackwell.Google Scholar
- McIntyre, A. 1981. After virtue: A study in moral theory. Notre Dame: Notre Dame University Press.Google Scholar
- Rawls, J. 1999. Theory of justice, 2nd ed. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
- Sox, H.C. 2002. Medical professionalism in the new millennium. A physician charter. Annals of Internal Medicine 136(3): 243.Google Scholar
- Sullivan, W.M. 2005. Work and integrity: The crisis and promise of professionalism in America. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Welie, J.V.M. 2004a. Is dentistry a profession? Part I: Professionalism defined. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association 70(8): 529–532. Also on-line at http://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-70/issue-8/529.html. Last accessed on 21 March 2011.
- Welie, J.V.M. 2004b. Is dentistry a profession? Part II: Hallmarks of professionalism. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association 70(9): 599–602. Also on-line at http://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-70/issue-9/599.html. Last accessed on 21 March 2011.
- Welie, J.V.M. 2004c. Is dentistry a profession? Part III: Future challenges. Journal of the Canadian Dental Association 70(10): 675-678. Also on-line at http://www.cda-adc.ca/jcda/vol-70/issue-10/675.html. Last accessed on 21 March 2011.
- Welie, J.V.M. 2006. The preferential option for the poor. A social justice perspective on oral health care. In Justice in oral health care. Ethical and educational perspectives, ed. J.V.M. Welie, 127–144. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.Google Scholar