Tag Archives: subordinates

ETHICS GUIDELINES: LETTING THE POWERFUL OFF THE HOOK, HANGING SUBORDINATES OUT TO DRY

I’m an ethics bureaucrat – a lowly one at the moment, a member of my departmental ethics committee. I don’t like the job, but I stick with it because it keeps me in touch with a system that has to change. The better I understand the system, the better my chances of helping to bring about a change.
In fact, the system changes all the time, sometimes for the better, but mostly for the worse. The most frequent changes for the worse come, not from Canada’s Tri-Council Guidelines, which I criticized in an earlier blog entry and and a research paper (the discussion of ethics starts on p. 13), but from well-intentioned local ethics bureaucrats who over-interpret the guidelines. The other day an ethics application crossed my desk and I spotted a change that I believe originated locally.

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