Bringing Codes to Newcastle

Ethics for Clinical Ethicists
  • Benjamin Freedman
Part of the Contemporary Issues in Biomedicine, Ethics, and Society book series (CIBES)


One should admit to some frank embarrassment when writing about the need to codify the ethical elements of work as a clinical ethicist. In its early years, bioethics itself was concerned about providing a critique of the impedimenta of medical ethics: the existing code of ethics, the Hippocratic Oath, and the posited mentality that perceived ethics as a matter of adherence to well-worn homily. Some of this critique was misguided, revolutionary fervor, but much of it was on the mark; and what I shall have to say may be vulnerable to it.


Clinical Ethicist Professional Status Unethical Practice Hippocratic Oath Base Discipline 
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  1. 1.
    I rely here on Ernest Greenwood (1982) “Attributes of a Profession,” Moral Responsibility and the Professions, B. Freedman and B. Baumrin (eds.), Haven, New York, NY, pp. 20–33. Greenwood is representing a tradition of sociological literature on the professions rather than introducing a novel understanding.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Preamble, Code of Ethics for Nursing (1985), Canadian Nurses Association, Ottawa, pp. 1–3.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The survey, carried out by the US National Institutes of Health, is reported on in Joyce Bermel’s (1985) “Ethics Consultants: A Self-Portrait of Decision Makers,” Hastings Center Report 15 2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

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© The Humana Press Inc. 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Freedman

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