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Professional ethics

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-L077-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved July 15, 2024, from

Article Summary

Professional ethics is concerned with the values appropriate to certain kinds of occupational activity, such as medicine and law, which have been defined traditionally in terms of a body of knowledge and an ideal of service to the community; and in which individual professionals have a high degree of autonomy in their practice. The class of occupations aiming to achieve recognition as professions has increased to include, for example, nursing, while at the same time social and political developments have led to criticism of and challenge to the concepts of professions and professionalism. Problems in professional ethics include both regulation of the professional-client relationship and the role and status of professions in society. A central question for ethics is whether there are values or virtues specific to particular professions or whether the standards of ordinary morality are applicable.

Citing this article:
Chadwick, Ruth. Professional ethics, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-L077-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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