The question ‘Why should we care?’, which is commonly used to disclaim moral responsibility, has a hollow ring when applied to the role of professional health carers. There is no obligation on anyone to become a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, health visitor or related health-care professional. Nevertheless once such a role is adopted, moral responsibilities automatically come as part of the package. But so, it may be argued, do they come when one adopts the role of mechanic, tailor, or airline pilot. It is of course true that to become involved in any employee/employer, producer/consumer, professional/client relationship brings with it moral duties and corresponding rights. Indeed in the case of the motor mechanic and perhaps even more obviously in that of the airline pilot the safety and health of the customer is a matter of considerable importance. This is true insofar as prevention of harm due to negligence, overwork or some such consideration must play a major role in the determination of whether one is a good mechanic or pilot.
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- 1.John A. Davis. ‘Whose life is it anyway?’, British Medical Journal (April 1986) vol. 292, p. 11–28.Google Scholar