Personal Ethics Versus Professional Ethics

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Personal Ethics Versus Professional Ethics

Term personal ethics to mean one’s conscience and the term professional ethics to mean adherence to a professional code. Sometimes those two roles can conflict. For instance, we have cases of doctors who have refused to prescribe the morning after pill, because they believe it will terminate a human life. In this case the doctor has decided that his personal ethics will guide him or her.

Personal ethics depends highly on personal beliefs and loyalties, and results in behavior in a person's life in his relationships, family and friends. It defines our stand on what is right or wrong.This branch of ethics gradually develops since our childhood and tend to emulate the things which are set as an moral value to us by our parents or guardians in the family.

Professional ethics defines adherence to rules and regulation .Here the individual is expected to follow religiously, the code of ethics framed by the organization .It can be heavily influenced by the culture of the organization but it cannot change as frequently as the personal ethics. Also it depends highly on the requirements of the profession, looking out for the interests of the organization as well as the customers. We are often bound legally by our professional ethics, such as confidentiality and due diligence. Professional ethics are usually written and signed, and rarely change over time.

There may be at times where our personal ethics can conflict with our professional one ,for instance, when a judge enforces a death sentence on a criminal as per our law even if he is personally against death penalty.

I feel that it is impossible to separate the personal from the professional ethics. The Personal ethics will always be with you as a basis for all ethical decisions that you make, whether they are personal or professional.
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