A Vulnerability-based Account of Professional Responsibility
41 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2016 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019
Date Written: September 18, 2018
This paper re-conceptualises professional responsibility by tying its rationale to the `sense of self’ vulnerability that is concomitant with the circumstances that prompt recourse to many professional services. This account entails a gap between the sociological domain of the `professions’ and the domain of professional responsibility as a legal concept. This vulnerability-based account also calls for reform. The flurry of judicial activity relating to information disclosure helps to illustrate the consequences of the current conceptual deficit when it comes to professional responsibility. This paper explains why what has become the leading court case regarding information disclosure -Montgomery- may be deemed a missed opportunity. As an alternative approach, this paper considers the potential inherent in a move towards a `duty to consult’, which is far more concerned with the challenge inherent in preserving a sense of authorship than it is with freedom of choice.
Keywords: professions, ethics, vulnerability, duty to consult, professional responsibility, Montgomery, healthcare
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