Professional Responsibility and Conflict of Interest
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When conflicts of interests arise for the professional, s/he should be aided in their resolution by a long-standing body of knowledge called ethics. Ethics provides an array of concepts, vocabulary, and strategies to aid in both the understanding and the resolution of such challenges. Central here are two concepts, viz. responsibility and conflict of interest. Responsibility emerges incrementally from a person’s knowledge, freedom, and deliberation. Conflicts of interest are either simple or complex: simple, when a principle conflicts with human wants; complex, when two or more principles are mutually inconsistent. An analysis of these two concepts leads us to the claim that a professional, to remain such, even while embracing an ever-expanding burden of responsibility, needs a conceptual framework for resolving conflicts of interest.
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