According to the Duden dictionary, a code of honour is “the totality of norms concerning honour and honourable behaviour that apply in a society or group” (1). This unwritten set of rules about the good conduct of professional groups, associated with corresponding obligations and privileges, no longer seems to apply to academic and other prominent professional groups.
People worldwide are thus driven into a state of hardship, poverty and hopelessness, of isolation and outcastness. A craftsman cannot afford such behaviour without being punished for it and losing his job. Do politicians, doctors, journalists or psychologists, for example, also have to fear such consequences in view of obviously blatant violations of their professional ethics? Who will one day hold them accountable for their behaviour?
The article by a colleague from “RUBIKON” prompted me to take another look at the code of honour of outstanding professional groups. (2) I recommend every fellow citizen to do the same, should they not have woken up yet: Start with the Oath of Hippocrates, the doctor’s vow originally written in Greek, and continue with the oath of office or service of politicians, the professional ethical guidelines of psychologists, and even the nationally and internationally binding agreements for journalists!
How can doctors or medical policy advisors make decrees that are not “for the benefit of the sick” and that do not protect them from harm and arbitrary injustice (3)?
How can politicians blatantly violate the oath of office they have taken and devote their power not to their own people but rather to the billionaire and power “elite” and violate federal law? How can psychologists, contrary to their professional ethics, write traumatised war returnees fit for service again, second torturers in their work and currently call on fellow human beings to persevere and put aside their most basic human needs?
How can the “journaille” (riffraff of the press) in no way fulfil their obligation to inform the citizens truthfully and to promote peace – and do so with impunity?
A profession is “an activity of a human being which is systematically learned, specialised, usually accompanied by a certificate of quality, performed permanently and for remuneration on the basis of special aptitude and inclination” (4). If one is not up to it, one should look for a job that is usually only temporary, is not tied to a special aptitude or training and above all cannot cause any harm.
All fellow citizens are called upon not to continue to accept the blatant violations of the written or even unwritten rules of good conduct by the various occupational groups, but to demand it without delay. They must not allow only the “Honourable Society” to abide by its code of honour.
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Dr. Rudolf Hänsel is a graduate psychologist and educationalist.