A Vulnerability-based Account of Professional Responsibility

41 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2016 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019

See all articles by Sylvie Delacroix

Sylvie Delacroix

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School; The Alan Turing Institute

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

Suggested Citation

Delacroix, Sylvie, A Vulnerability-based Account of Professional Responsibility (September 18, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2840864 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2840864

Sylvie Delacroix (Contact Author)

University of Birmingham - Birmingham Law School ( email )

Birmingham, AL B15 2TT
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/staff/profiles/law/delacroix-sylvie.aspx

The Alan Turing Institute ( email )

96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB
United Kingdom

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