Thinking about ethics and reading the many examples of poor professional conduct and having been on the receiving end of unethical behaviour, I have developed a very uneasy feeling. Just recently I realised that this uneasiness is in fact FEAR!
As I get older I wonder if any of those engaged in what we called “the professions” are really there to help me or screw me.
- How do I know that my lawyer is not charging me just to say “hello” because he/she is on time recording and every 3-minutes must be billed to someone? How do I know at my lawyer is not unnecessarily extending a court case or a legal matter just to earn more fees? There is no way I could check this.
- How do I know that, keeping to the “10-minutes per patient rule”, my doctor is correctly diagnosing, and not just issuing a prescription with advice to come back in two weeks if things don’t improve?
- How do I know that my bank manager is giving me the best loan and the best terms for my circumstances, because having to meet sales targets may mean he/she trays to make make more money out of me than need be?
Yes, almost all professional bodies will have a code of professional conduct or code of ethics, but how much of that code is about protecting the profession and how much of it really is about doing the best for the people who come for advice and help? I guess only the actions of those in the professions will tell.