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    6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 11, 2009 6:10 PM by snipperred

    off topic Business Ethics question

    andy43232 Wayfarer
      When a reporter makes a mistake in a magazine article, you can run a correction; but when a health care worker makes a mistake, someone can die." Reflecting on this statement, should we hold people in certain professions to higher standards of legal accountability and responsibility? What are the advantages and disadvantages of your position?
        • Re: off topic Business Ethics question
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Business Ethics, Welcome

          It would help to know YOU. Who you are?? What kind of business you plan to start??

          AND WHY this question?? What professions??

          Give us your input FIRST.

          • Re: off topic Business Ethics question
            Lighthouse24 Ranger
            This sounds like homework question . . .


            A few months back in a different on-line small business community, an article was posted encouraging small business owners to "fake it ‘til you make it." It outlined strategies for forging credentials and qualifications, creating made-up references and referrals, and even falsifying financial documents -- all to win business clients, customers, and contracts. According to the author, none of this was unethical because it was "standard business practice" and small businesses must "cheat to compete." The author further noted that the handful of business owners who don't cheat may think "you are taking the moral high road, but in reality you are just blatantly naive, incredibly stupid, and destined to fail."

            Amazingly (to me) the 80 or so posts that followed were about 3 to 1 in support of the author and article. A number of responses posed the same question you do here. Does this advice apply to everyone? Is it right for a surgeon, airplane pilot, or teacher to "fake it?" Is it right if the hospital, airline, or school doesn't bother to check -- or worse yet, hires the fakers anyway in order to "cheat to complete?" Again, the overwhelming response from that community was that the "right" or "wrong" of it was totally irrelevant because, as one member stated, "Wake up! That's already the way the world works!"

            I found that consensus disturbing. (Consequently, it didn't seem like my kind of community, so I didn't bookmark it and can't remember the URL -- but maybe if you search on some of those quoted phrases you can find a thread of the debates that were posted.)
              • Re: off topic Business Ethics question
                Iwrite Pioneer
                Wow. Lying is lying. At least for me. And when, not if, a person is caught they get what they deserve.

                I find it interesting that businesses think it is okay to lie until an employee lies on their application, but the business doesn't mind lying to customers. To be honest, look at the claims made for some of companies on this forum - clearly they are stretching the truth at least. I'm going to stop here before I start naming names.
                • Re: off topic Business Ethics question
                  DomainDiva Ranger
                  Lighthouse, I have a favorite saying I will share:

                  As long as the bad guys are making money, they are good guys in the minds of their peers.

                  When these 'good guys' finally loose money, they are finally labeled as the bad buys they always were, by those same peers.
                • Re: off topic Business Ethics question
                  DomainDiva Ranger

                  Having two daughters that are nurses, I hope that they never make a mistake that would lead to the death of a patient. However, ( and this is JUST ME mind you), I have a hard time imagining myself holding a health care professional liable for an accident except in cases of gross negligence, where a limb was lost or surgical instruments were left inside my body during surgery.

                  That being said, when I am preparing a set of aircraft engine records I have to be ultra careful that all the numbers are correct since I am 'approving the total time and cycles' on a life limited part. If I made a mistake that cost lives, I cannot imagine the horror of having to live with that. I imagine that I would have nothing left to eat, or wear, let alone even have a home to sleep in after the regulatory agencies and everyone else had their piece of me.. all for an honest mistake. Bottom line is...we all take our lumps and we all risk at some time or another causing harm or injury to another through actions, advice or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

                  I believe that there is such a thing as 'depraved indifference' and that it covers all aspects of business and skill sets, not just health care workers as you seem to single out in your post. (which bothers me immensely).

                  I also believe that to hold someone legally accountable or responsible you have to prove either the 'depraved indifference' or 'intent to cause harm'.

                  If someone makes an honest mistake and takes the responsibility for it such as "I made such and such mistake, someone died and I am having a hard time getting up in the morning". I am going to be inclined to believe him. However society has to exact its' revenge through lawsuits, jail and other means even if an honest mistake was made. If a pharmaceutical company mislabels drugs, is the nurse responsible for the overdose? She is assuming that the label that came from the company is correct, is she not?

                  Regarding the bias in your post about health care workers, please take heed to the fact that there are a lot of professions out there (such as mine) that could inadvertently cause mayhem and death with one transposed number set.

                  A good example of depraved indifference woud be Bernie Madoff, he even swindled his sister out of 3-4 million dollars. That guy is a sociopath. Meagan whats her name at the SEC had more than enough reports on her desk but because she did not understand the alogrithim and would not seek assistance, Madoff got away with his schemes I would put her in the depraved indifference category as well. There has already been one well publicized suicide from the Madoff affaire, and not one word from Bernie his friend.

                  Doctors that are not doctors (fake doctors) like the guy who did the botox on several hollywood types (Priscilla Presley is one) should go to jail.

                  If the brakes fail on an automobile and my husband standing on the sidewalk is killed, should that person go to jail if he was the mechanic that repaired the brakes? For my money would be a horrible tragic accident. However since there was no 'intent' or depraved indifference why should he face a jail term?

                  As far as advantages or disadvantages of a stated position, that seems to be an odd question. It appears that you are looking for a validation/rationale for a situation you are facing.
                  Since I try to operate from an objective standpoint and leave the rationalizing and emotion out of decision making I really can't provide an answer to that. For me that question makes no sense at all. (Sorry that's just me...)
                  • Re: off topic Business Ethics question
                    snipperred Scout
                    Medicine is already riddled with letigious complications. I think accountability should be fair. You should get credit for the measures you take to execute your responsibilities without error. With that risk and importance should come proportionate compensation. In medicine, their is some question as to whether liability insurance is reimbursed for healthcare services rendered. However, the costs are definately paid, a matter of law, and neglicence is still subject to criminal prosecution. I think the question is more a matter of whether unethical practices are fairly held accountable. We set legal standards to what is right and I think the justice system is supposed to support that. However, there is no question abuses exist and the justice system does an inadequate job of fair enforcement.

                    Regarding healthcare, I think if people seek our services, they should be protected by some rights against negligence but also assume the risk of human error etc. Just like employees are supposed to be served by OSHA workplace reporting of safety mishaps etc, service providers with greater responsibility to matters of individual safety should post public reports including recorded complications, satisfaction of quality protocols, and even allegations and status therof. The legislation should reduce the possibility of unfair suits and settlements.

                    If you are professional then you should specialize in whatever you do. It's not a matter of bearing more responsibility in complex operations. What you do should be articulated step by step and transactions should be itemized. Rather than do so much to control abuses either way, it should be more about influencing and incentivising the positive behaviors. Leave it up to the market to decide how to reward positive professional work. However, accountability should be based on real performance rather than artificial decision contexts. The rules should be fair across the board. Providers should not be hit on technicalities as long as they show sufficient attention to them. I think those rights are best presented the same across all professions.