We are mindful of the significance of this place and we acknowledge and pay respect to the indigenous people who care for and love this land so dearly. We make our presentation to this forum in memory of the women who lived and died here.
At the level of the profession itself, codes document the standards according to which the profession can be held accountable for the conduct of its members.
Further, because society relegates control for many of the professions to the professional organizations themselves, the professions have developed codes to provide the basis of self-regulation Soskolne At the level of the individual professional, codes can provide a practical guide to members of the profession who might be experiencing a moral or ethical dilemma concerning their professional conduct in a particular circumstance.
Where a professional finds himself or herself in a state of moral or ethical tension, it is self-evident that codes can be helpful in providing counsel. Revisions to the code can be considered through grass-roots individual membership input at organizational meetings, workshops and conferences.
This ongoing discussion of issues and concerns constitutes a review process ensuring that any code remains sensitive to changing social values. Professions depending for their sustenance on public support thereby improve their likelihood of remaining publicly accountable and relevant Glick and Shamoo Codes could assist professionals being charged with malpractice and perhaps even in litigation.
If such practice were to have resulted in harm, the code-abiding individual professional would be less likely to be found guilty of having committed a wrong. However, based on the principle of trust Pellegrino, Veatch and Langanthe public has the expectation that the best possible professional judgement will be exercised in the public interest.
Where the physician-patient relationship is concerned, the patient has the right under the principle of trust to expect that his or her interests will be best served. In such circumstances, it is the public good that will usually need to take precedence over that of the individual.
Regardless, codes provide no substitute for legal liability dimensions of conduct for which government has enacted laws to protect the public interest Cohen Weight and Intent of Codes Codes do have associated with them the notion of statutory force, implying the ability for their enforcement through the administering of some type of disciplinary action.
Indeed, the notions of accountability and self-regulation referred to above have associated with them some sense of control minimally, peer pressure; maximally, the removal of licence to practice that can be exercised over the members of the profession by the professional organization itself.
The latter emphasize guidance with fewer implications for enforcement associated with them. It should be apparent that codes and also guidelines do not carry the force of law. In essence, codes and guidelines are intended to provide guidance for professionals, collectively and individually, in their relationships with their clients including patients and research subjectswith their colleagues and co-workers including their studentsand with the public including stakeholder groups.
In addition, codes require that the quality of professional work and hence the stature of the profession itself is advanced.
In contrast, however, it can generally be stated that codes associated with scientific research will require that the public interest take precedence over any individual or other interests.
One exception would be where a researcher discovers child abuse in a research subject; here the researcher would have the obligation to report this to the child welfare authorities. Code Development, Review and Revision The process by which codes are developed has consequences for their application.
By including members of the profession and students of the profession in code development, as well as in code review and revision, ownership of the resultant document by a greater number of individuals is believed more likely. With broad-based ownership, increased compliance by a greater number is believed more assured.
Content and Structure of Codes The content of a code should be user friendly to maximize its utility. Codes can be of varying length.
Some are brief, while some are substantial. The more substantial that a code is, the more specific it is possible for it to be.
Codes can be made to be user friendly by virtue of their structure and content. For example, a summary set of the principles upon which the code is based could be presented first, followed by expanded aspirational or prescriptive statements, which constitute the code itself.
These can be followed by a commentary that explicates each statement in turn, perhaps noting special circumstances in the form of case studies that might serve as useful examples.
The principles and their interpretation showever, are highly dependent on the values recognized as inherent to the pursuits of a profession. While these values may be universal, interpretations as well as practices at the local and regional levels may differ. The commentary should incorporate, or could be followed by or complemented with, case study materials that derive from real-life instances of ethical dilemmas or tensions.
The case study materials could be ethically analysed in either sanitized i. The objective behind case studies is not to seek retribution, but rather to provide examples for teaching purposes. Learning is enhanced by real-life situations. It is from an understanding of the code that it becomes possible for a profession to develop more detailed standards of practice.
These address more specific areas of activity associated with professional conduct, including a broad range of activity from interpersonal behaviours to both how research is conducted and how the results of that research are communicated.EXECUTIVE SUMMARY.
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