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Professional Hubris and its Consequences: Why Organizations of Health‐Care Professions Should Not Adopt Ethically Controversial Positions

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In this article, I argue that professional healthcare organizations such as the AMA and ANA ought not to take controversial stances on professional ethics. I address the best putative arguments in favor of taking such stances, and argue that none are convincing. I then argue that the sort of stance‐taking at issue has pernicious consequences: it stands to curb critical thought in social, political, and legal debates, increase moral distress among clinicians, and alienate clinicians from their professional societies. Thus, because there are no good arguments in favor of stance‐taking and at least some risks in doing so, professional organizations should refrain from adopting the sort of ethically controversial positions at issue.
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Keywords: AMA; ANA; codes of ethics; position statements; professional ethics; professional organizations

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2016

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