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Profits and Professions

Essays in Business and Professional Ethics

  • Wade L. Robison
  • Michael S. Pritchard
  • Joseph Ellin

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Professional Ethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Wade L. Robison
      Pages 3-8
    3. Lisa H. Newton
      Pages 23-36
    4. Gerald J. Postema
      Pages 37-63
    5. Michael D. Bayles
      Pages 65-73
  3. Business Ethics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 75-75
    2. Joseph Ellin
      Pages 77-87
    3. Robert V. Hannaford
      Pages 101-112
    4. Donald R. Koehn
      Pages 113-132
    5. Norman Chase Gillespie
      Pages 133-140
    6. Thomas L. Carson, Richard E. Wokutch
      Pages 141-155
    7. Richard T. De George
      Pages 157-174
  4. Professionals in a Corporate Setting

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 175-175
    2. Michael S. Pritchard
      Pages 177-182
    3. William F. May
      Pages 183-213
    4. John Kultgen
      Pages 225-264
    5. Gene G. James
      Pages 287-303
    6. Albert Flores
      Pages 305-315
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 317-331

About this book

Introduction

Suppose an accountant discovers evidence of shady practices while ex­ amining the books of a client. What should he or she do? Accountants have a professional obligation to respect the confidentiality of their cli­ ents' accounts. But, as an ordinary citizen, our accountant may feel that the authorities ought to be informed. Suppose a physician discov­ ers that a patient, a bus driver, has a weak heart. If the patient contin­ ues bus driving even after being informed of the heart condition, should the physician inform the driver's company? Respect for patient confidentiality would say, no. But what if the driver should suffer a heart attack while on duty, causing an accident in which people are killed or seriously injured? Would the doctor bear some responsibility for these consequences? Special obligations, such as those of confidentiality, apply to any­ one in business or the professions. These obligations articulate, at least in part, what it is for someone to be, say, an accountant or a physician. Since these obligations are special, they raise a real possibility of con­ flict with the moral principles we usually accept outside of these spe­ cial relationships in business and the professions. These conflicts may become more accentuated for a professional who is also a corporate employee-a corporate attorney, an engineer working for a construction company, a nurse working as an employee of a hospital.

Keywords

Whistleblowing autonomy confidentiality ethics morality

Editors and affiliations

  • Wade L. Robison
    • 1
  • Michael S. Pritchard
    • 2
  • Joseph Ellin
    • 2
  1. 1.Kalamazoo CollegeUSA
  2. 2.Western Michigan UniversityUSA

Bibliographic information