The Standards of Professionals

While reflecting on the moral questions posed by the statement ‘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’, it is relevant to delve into the idea that some professionals should be held to a higher standard than others. This is not a correct ideology in assuming that morality is more important at any one time or place or by one person over another.

Just as the previous reflection on morality revealed the importance of individual sovereignty, the application of this should be noted in that this is the only universal ethic that can and should be placed on all individuals. The strength of this position of moral sovereignty is that each person has a humanistic right and responsibility to follow their ethical reasoning without outside interference. A health care worker is morally responsible for caring for patients in a competent way, but a reporter is just as much affected, if not more so, by individual decision making.

Reporters may feel threatened by superiors to report inaccurate news and in doing so this could have intense ramifications for dispensing disinformation. This can lead to character assassination for a political candidate, as one example. The disadvantages of looking at this model, is that as stated previously, the responsibility of a reporter can be held to a higher degree of standards, due to the fact that health care workers are not coerced into saving lives, they simply must. In contrast, reporters must weigh in their journalistic pieces on outside influence, such as their superiors and their audience.

Individual sovereignty is still a standard that can be used universally, as the true illustration of a moral and rational actor is the ethical actions taken without influence or coercion in any profession. This means thinking and acting individually with only the altruistic motives of those around this actor in mind. As well, individuals in all professions can reap the benefits of their right to sovereignty and successful actions while the price to pay, individually, is the effects of their errors.


Joseph Joel., (2003) Business Ethics: An Introduction. New York, Blackwell


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