Queer & Present: Lesson 3, Recall Professional Ethics
As Professor Snyder says, breaking a rule-of-law state requires willing lawyers, and show trials require judges. Doctors worked at Auschwitz.
Ironclad codes of professional ethics like those of lawyers and doctors do not apply to us all. But all of us can help make sure that those covered stick to them. We can also be scrupulous about our own ethics, and set a good example for our ethics-challenged Federal Government. Even beyond the careers with well-known, compulsory ethics codes, many professions have national or international associations that offer mission and ethics statements. Did you know that ethics guidelines exist in all kinds of fields of work, from anthropology to food service to personal trainers? Some of these are more relevant than others, but you should still consult your respective codes and bring attention to them, especially when they are being violated.
This week’s most egregious example of bad ethics comes from the presidential press secretary who told a gathering of reporters in no uncertain terms that the administration could “disagree with the facts.” Going forward, l think it’s likely to be important for decent people to make sure that not a single instance of this kind of double-speak and double-think goes unchallenged. We must be sure never to let them off the hook by thinking, “Oh, he doesn’t really mean that the way it sounds.” He does mean it, and he is testing the waters to see how much he can get away with, just like Josef Goebbels did in 1933.
Stan Stansbury is a Contributor at InQueery.