The Ethical Costs of Commercializing the Professions: First-Person Narratives from the Legal and Medical Trenches

University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, Vol. 13, p. 169, 2010

33 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2009 Last revised: 13 May 2014

See all articles by Joshua E. Perry

Joshua E. Perry

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law

Date Written: December 16, 2009

Abstract

This paper explores the tension between being both a professional and a businessperson in the practice of law or medicine. Traditionally, these professions were marked by certain criteria, central of which was “a commitment to provide service to the public that goes beyond the economic welfare of the practitioner.” In 21st century U.S., however, business or economic concerns have an increasingly large impact on the lives of lawyers and physicians. This impact, I argue, is not a positive one. Drawing upon qualitative interview and survey data gathered from practicing lawyers and physicians who find themselves struggling to act as ethical businesspersons in the practice of law or medicine, I describe this moral tension between serving self-interests and meeting the needs of patients/clients as an important, under-identified, and ultimately corrosive component of contemporary professional life.

Keywords: ethics, professionalism, law, medicine, professional responsibility

JEL Classification: I10, K10

Suggested Citation

Perry, Joshua E., The Ethical Costs of Commercializing the Professions: First-Person Narratives from the Legal and Medical Trenches (December 16, 2009). University of Pennsylvania Journal of Law and Social Change, Vol. 13, p. 169, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1524402

Joshua E. Perry (Contact Author)

Indiana University - Kelley School of Business - Department of Business Law ( email )

Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
77
Abstract Views
575
rank
308,131
PlumX Metrics