Preserving Ethics in a Not So Ethical World
Ethical principles can be traced as far back as the ancient philosophers, including Plato and Aristotle, who believed in virtue as a guide for ethical action, and Kant, who developed the concept that obligation instructs us how to behave.1 The terms “professional ethics” and “medical ethics” were created by English physician Thomas Percival in 1803, which led to the adoption of the first code of ethics by the American Medical Association in 1847.2 Today, many corporations and organizations have established a code of ethics for employees and members. These codes provide a guide on what to do, as well as what not to do, in a given situation.
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