Codes of Professional Ethics
The code of ethics of professional conduct exists mainly for occupations that have a special responsibility to the society: civil servants, judges, doctors, professional accountants, auditors.
Due to the evolving professionalization, the experts of various directions are increasingly experiencing moral conflicts that can not be solved based on professional knowledge alone.
Therefore, the main task of developers of ethical codes is to formulate and introduce into the professional environment the principles and norms of corporate ethics that are aimed at resolving moral and ethical problems and disputable situations, preventing abuses in various spheres of professional activity.
The code of professional ethics is not the invention of today. In particular, more than 300 years ago, the Code of the Samurai ( Bushido Sosinxu ) was developed and has reached (almost unchanged) to this day. This Code is a set of ethical rules of a professional warrior who regulated his behavior both in combat and in a peaceful life.
These codes supplement their provisions with the provisions of legislative acts regulating the activity of auditors, doctors, journalists, lawyers and other representatives of the most important and socially significant professions.
This is directly indicated in some acts.
In Art. 2 of the Code of Professional Ethics of the Attorney, adopted by the First All-United States Congress of Advocates on January 31, 2003, as amended on April 8, 2005, states that this Code supplements the rules established by the law on advocacy and advocacy.
All these codes contain moral and ethical norms that regulate one or another professional activity. They are also called: "Code of Professional Ethics", "Code of Ethics", "Code of Honor", "Declaration of Ethics", "Charter of Professional Principles", "Deontological Code", " and the like.
Reasons for adopting ethical codes
There are many different nuances in professional activity, which the current legislation regulating the rights and duties of specific specialists can not cover with its regulation.
In this regard, there is a need for additional regulation of professional conduct. Of course, the best representatives of their problems are representatives of specific specialties that develop corporate rules.
In addition, many legislative acts on professional activities contain provisions that require compliance with standards of corporate ethics.
According to Art. 7 of the Federal Law of May 31, 2002 No. 63-FZ "On advocacy and legal profession in the United States"; the lawyer is obliged to comply with the Code of Professional Ethics of the lawyer.
Thus, the adoption of a code of professional ethics is in some cases necessary by virtue of the law.
Legal regulation (as a form of state intervention in the life of an individual citizen and society as a whole) has certain limits, which do not allow actively interfering in the moral and ethical sphere of society, which is traditionally regulated by religious and moral norms, customs and traditions. In this regard, the adoption of the ethical code should be viewed as the result of the ordering of social relations within civil society by the forces of society itself.
The presence of codes of professional ethics is an indicator of the moral maturity of a society that can independently regulate the behavior of its members without the help of the state.
Representatives of some professions (for example, a doctor, a judge), due to their legal status, have an extremely wide scope for subjective discretion. Freedom of their actions (which can be not only socially useful, but also socially harmful) is often limited only by relatively specific legal prescriptions and own conscience.
The Code of Medical Ethics reads: "The doctor must remember that the chief judge on his medical path is his own conscience." However, the conscience, as you know, is not a specific concept and is often highly subjective.
In this regard, the task of ethical codes is precisely to bring opposing views of members of the professional community about good and evil to a common socially useful denominator.
This can be achieved only by formalizing the moral ideals on which this or that professional activity is based, raising them into binding corporate principles and norms.
The society is compelled to force its members to comply with a formally defined corporate morality, since not every lawyer, doctor, judge or journalist voluntarily adheres to these rules in his work.
Many professions are of great social importance, which imposes on the representatives of these professions an increased responsibility to society. In this regard, the code of ethics is an additional obstacle to various professional abuses and violations.
Article 4 of the Code of Professional Ethics of a psychiatrist prohibits the following acts, which are abuses of the position of a doctor:
- the use of their knowledge contrary to medical interests or for the purpose of distorting the truth;
- the application to the person of psychiatric measures without sufficient grounds;
- denial of psychiatric care to persons who need it;
- Imposing the patient their philosophical, political, religious views;
- the conclusion with the patient of transactions of a property nature, the use of his labor for personal purposes;
- entering into an intimate relationship with the patient;
- contributing to patient suicide;
- the use of medical means to punish the patient.
Therefore, the reasons for adopting ethical codes are as follows (Figure 1.1):
- the need for additional regulation of professional behavior;- the ordering of social relations within civil society by the forces of society itself;
- an extremely wide scope of subjective discretion of representatives of some professions due to their legal status.
Fig. 1.1. Reasons for adopting ethical codes
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