Article Date: 9/1/2002

Readings from the Ethics Files
The recent focus on ethical behavior has prompted me to dust off a few items.

Over the years I've gathered a sizeable file of news that concerns ethics. This doesn't mean that I'm any more ethical than the next guy. It means that I'm the one who usually gets the assignment to write the story on ethics.

I'll probably never use most of these filed items, including Hillary Clinton's brush with the House Ethics Committee over her $4.5 million book deal. Some other entries, both old and new, seem appropriate for this column. I've listed them below.

From the files

However, we should take time to applaud organizations such as the American Medical Association and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association, which recently published an ethical code for sales and marketing conduct (see "Ethics in 2002 and Beyond".) We should also congratulate individual companies that have developed independent ethical codes. The rules I've seen appear direct and easy to follow. More important, they embody a spirit -- one that goes beyond word-for-word interpretations to one that provides standards for responsible decision making.

The real role models

Finally, we should salute the vast majority of optometrists and other healthcare professionals who handle all of their affairs with the the highest degree of integrity. It's unfortunate that they don't receive more recognition. Aren't they the role models we really need?


Optometric Management, Issue: September 2002