Handbook of Healthcare Management

Handbook of Healthcare Management

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Myron D. Fottler, Donna Malvey and Donna J. Slovensky

The Handbook of Healthcare Management is a comprehensive examination of key management practices for global healthcare organizations, arguing that insight into and implementation of these practices is essential for success and sustainability.

Chapter 20: Ethical challenges in healthcare

Kurt Darr and Carla J. Sampson

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, strategic management, social policy and sociology, health policy and economics


Ethics and law are not necessarily synchronous. Laws that result from a democratic process generally reflect the majority’s views of justice and fairness. Some may consider a law unjust or immoral and risk or invite punishment by breaking it. Classic contemporary examples are the widespread recreational use of marijuana in the United States, and engaging in civil disobedience to protest government or private actions considered morally wrong by the protesters. Law is the minimum performance expected in society. Professions ask their affiliates to obey the law, but simultaneously ask more of them. Thus, a profession’s code of ethics requires members to act in ways different from other members of society.

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