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Professional Crime and Ethics, Research Paper Example

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Research Paper

Professional ethics provides guidelines on the conduct of the professions in the course of their duty. For example, the medical profession has ethics that guide how the medical practitioner should conduct himself or herself. The four bioethics principles include autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice. Doctors’ duty is to give priority to the patient health- the life of patient comes first and should do anything to save it (Mason & Smith, 2000).

However, professional might be liable for a criminal act while fully observing his professional ethics. In medical, doctors observe the patient’s confidentiality in their dealing. Criminal liability might arise in the situation where the doctor after receiving information that is pertinent in assisting with the criminal investigation he keeps it to himself. For example, if the patient informed the psychiatrist that he killed two people one year ago and managed to escape from prison. The psychiatrist is liable for crime act even though he acted in accordance of professional ethics of maintaining the patient’s confidentiality. This is because the information was to assist in faster crime investigation. In this case, his failure to inform the concerned authority will lead to denial of justice to the aggrieved party (Schwartz, Paul, Preece, & Hendry, 2002).

In this case, the psychiatrist acted in true faith of ensuring that his patient health comes before the duty, to report such act to the authority. If the situation of disclosure were not significant in risking the patient’s recovery, then the psychiatrist would not be justified for his conduct. Therefore, the decision that one takes depends on the prevailing circumstance and the effect of that the decision to the third party. Considering both side of the coin, I will have disclosed the information to the authority giving them details of patients status to avoid being criminally liable.

Reference

Mason, J. K., & Smith, A. M. (2000). Law and medical ethics. London: Butterworths.

Schwartz, L., Paul E. Preece, & Hendry, R. A. (2002). Medical ethics: a case based approach. New York: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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