From:    Joe Vise (vise@physics.utoronto.ca)                
Date:    Thu Feb  1,  9:58am
Subject: Professional Ethics & War                                        
              
To: s4ptor@physics.utoronto.ca, s4pont@physics.utoronto.ca,
        s4pcan@physics.utoronto.ca

                  Professional Ethics and War: 
         Special Issue of the Newsletter "Perspectives"
        of the Center for the Study of Ethics in Chicago

   Health care and medical organisations have traditionally followed 
principles of the Hippocratic Oath, to attempt to help people, and to 
avoid harming people.  Accordingly, participation in activities like 
euthanasia are frowned upon, if not illegal, in many countries, for 
medical personnel.  

   Although euthanasia is intended to help people and has the patient as 
the main object of aid, there are other forms of killing that are less 
sympathetic to the person being killed.  For this reason, medical 
personnel have some delicate boundaries for their roles in military 
work.  Medical personnel helping the wounded fits well with traditional
goals of the profession.  Medical or health care personnel using their
skills to facilitate killing is more difficult to justify.

   A number of health care associations have prohibited their members 
from participating in capital punishment for the same reasons.

  A new case has arisen that flies in the face of the current consensus 
on professional ethics in health care, and the tradition of the 
Hippocratic Oath.  The Canadian Psychological Association has adopted a 
policy supporting participation in war if the war meets the criteria of
"just-war" (which have been criticised as putting a moral veneer on 
political agendas).  Furthermore, when asked about extreme kinds of 
militray work, such as participation in the development and use of 
weapons of mass destruction, the Canadian Psychological Association made
a policy interpretation in support of this as well.

   The Centre for the Study of Ethics in the Professions at the Illinois 
Institute of Technology has one of the world's largest collections of 
codes of professional ethics.  It also publishes an edited, rigorous
newsletter titled "Perspectives", which will host a special issue on the 
topic of Professional Ethics and War in the fall 1996 issue.  For 
further information, the Editor is Michael Davis, Center for the Study 
of Ethics in the Professions, Illinois Institue of Technology, Room 166, 
Life Sciences, 3101 South Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois 60616-3793.

   Further information, particularly on the Canadian Psychological 
Association policy debate could also be obtained from:

Prof. Craig Summers, 
Department of Psychology and Strategic Decisions Group,
Laurentian University
Tel. 705 675-1151 x 4222
Fax 705 675-4889
e-mail: CSummers@Nickel.Laurentian.Ca
http://Alumni.Laurentian.Ca/www/Psyc/SDG.html