LEARNING OBJECTIVE: Recognize the concept of professional ethics.

The word ethics is derived from the Greek “ethos,” meaning custom or practice, a characteristic manner of acting, or a more-or-less constant style of behavior in the deliberate actions of people. When we speak of ethics, we refer to a set of rules or a body of principles. Every social, religious, and professional group has a body of principles or standards of conduct that provides ethical guidance to its members.

All professional interactions must be directly related to codes of behavior that support the principles of justice, equality of human beings as persons, and respect for the dignity of human beings. Upholding medical ethics is the responsibility of all medical technicians.

You are morally binds you to certain responsibilities and rules that are included in the science of medical ethics. Ethics, whether they be classified general or special (e.g., legal or medical), teach us how to judge accurately the moral rightness and wrongness of our actions. The one element that makes healthcare ethics different from general ethics is the inclusion of the moral rule, “Do your duty.” This statement is a moral rule because it involves expectations (e.g., of confidentiality). It involves what others have every reason to believe will be forthcoming. Failure to fulfill these expectations is to do harm to your clients (i.e., your patients) and/or your colleagues. You are committing yourself to fulfilling certain duties, not only to those entrusted to your care, but also to all members of the healthcare team.