There are places where we don’t expect high ethical conduct, and are pleasantly surprised to find it. (Example: Does anyone expect insurance companies to be driven by high moral standards? The astonishment of positive encounters with such suggests we don’t.)
Then there are situations where ethics are a must, because trust is the foundation of these alliances. (Example: with physicians, therapists, or teachers. The astonishment of negative encounters suggests we had assumed the very best ethics from them.)
Having had, personally and through friends and family, some positive and negative experiences lately, I got to thinking about ethics and the gap between what we say and what we do. I say “we,” because while I am not guilty of most of the mentioned below, I can’t and won’t exclude myself from the abundance of failures, often explained as “that's how it’s done,” and “this is the real world, darling.”
But it got me wondering, and questioning. No reasoned answers in this post, just questions. I would love yours: the questions and the answers, if you’re so inclined.
These are all examples of things I have come to realize happen all the time.
*Is it all right to play editors against each other in a bidding war for manuscripts?
* Is it all right to look for a job while you still have a job?
*Is it all right to look for an agent while you have an agent?
*Is it all right to look for a spouse/partner while you have a spouse/partner?
*Is it all right to say publicly you are an in-network provider but say privately you will only treat privately “on the side,” for much more $$?
*Is it all right to take a friend’s confidential confessional life story and publish it without their consent?
*Is it all right to ghost-write and for $$ let the payer put his name on it?
* Is it all right to promote a friend’s product/book while having a less than high opinion of it?
While most are legal, I’m not one to see any as truly ethical. What do you think?