Ethical Conduct and the Professional's Dilemma: Choosing between Service and Success

Ethical Conduct and the Professional's Dilemma: Choosing between Service and Success

Ethical Conduct and the Professional's Dilemma: Choosing between Service and Success

Ethical Conduct and the Professional's Dilemma: Choosing between Service and Success

Synopsis

Written for practitioners in law, medicine, nursing, accounting, and securities and insurance marketing, this volume explores the dilemma encountered by professionals who have a commitment to being ethical but who also live in a competitive environment that subjects them to financial pressures toward enhancing income. McDowell offers an unusually frank discussion of the ethical principles that should govern decisions in this difficult area and analyzes the pressures that drive some professionals to sell unnecessary or excessive services.

Excerpt

The immediate motivation for the project that led to this book has to be credited to the Center for the Teaching and Study of Applied Ethics at the University of Nebraska. Its call for papers to be presented at a Conference on Moral Problems in the Professions: Advocacy, Institutional Ethics, and Role Responsibilities in March of 1990 caused me, for the first time, to think systematically and formally about the problems presented in this book.

The roots of this inquiry, however, reach back into my early teaching career and perhaps even further to my time as a law student. Early in my teaching, students brought me to see that any thoughtful person entering the professions, and perhaps all thinking adults, are faced with a genuine dilemma if they want to be decent and moral, and at the same time aspire to worldly success. Many teachers and other adult "sages" like to proclaim that there is no necessary conflict between these two goals, that it is possible, and perhaps even easy, to be both a moral human being and a worldly success. Young people are rightly suspicious about the ease of that resolution. They often suspect that the tension between these two life goals presents problems they will have to live with their entire professional lives. This book is an effort to explore the context and difficulties of that struggle, both from the individual's viewpoint and the position of society.

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