There are three important things related to ethics-
- Ethical literacy (awareness regarding various complexities of ethical issues)
- Ethical competencies (by following various ethical principles)
- Developing ethical point of view
One can be ethically literate by being aware of various ethical competencies and some of them are :-
- Respect and serve the law
- Protect privileged information
- Protect various constitutional rights like equality, fairness etc
- Show moral courage by refusing to get indulged in illegal and unethical activities
- Embrace and promote ethical behaviour in workplace
- Guard against conflict of interest
- Be responsible for your behaviour
- Recognise difference between ethical and management issues
- Engage in ethical reasoning
Important Ethical Principles:
- Principle of Honesty– This principle prohibits a person from deceiving others and self. Here deception not only include telling lie but also include failure to tell truth while knowing it and telling only half truth.
- Principle of causing no harm– It includes physical, mental, verbal and non-verbal harm.
- Principle of fidelity– This principle forbids a person from breaking promises, agreements and contracts with employer, self, family and society. In work place this principle asks a person to follow standard workplace practices, perform his/her duties and respect lines of authority and established decision making channels.
- Principle of Autonomy– It requires a person to make rational and informed decisions.
- Principle of Confidentiality– This prohibits a public servants from misusing information and from sharing privileged information outside a certain prescribed circle.
- Principle of lawfulness– It requires a public servant to aware of various constitutional, judicial and executive laws and directives.
- Right to know– This right has to closely seen with duty to inform. For example a father does not only has right to know whereabouts of his minor son but the son also has duty to inform. Moreover this right does not give right to get information by any means possible like torchering. This act involves various issues like- right to life, principle of autonomy and causing no harm, right to privacy.
- Right to privacy– Everybody has a right to decide when one wants to disclose information about oneself. Violation of privacy involves many issues like- principle of autonomy, principle of causing no harm, right to think freely, right to act freely, right to pursue happiness, etc.
- Right to free expression– It is a very broad right with widest amplitude. It does not only include freedom of speech but also include freedom of religion, art, culture, language, thinking etc. But content, intent and effect also matters and because of this reasonable restriction can be imposed on this right.thi