ERIC Number: ED368029
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Nov-18
Reference Count: N/A
Hippocrates and Bernays: A Medical Ethics Perspective on the Ethics of Public Relations.
While comparisons of public relations practitioners and attorneys remain attractive among practitioners and scholars searching for evidence of public relation's emergence as a profession, practitioners would be better served by emulating physicians in their "healing" role rather than attorneys in their "advocacy" role. Public relations's use of the physician as metaphor must consider the healer as he supposedly and ideally performed his role in the past. Practicing a holistic and preventive type of medicine, such healers would have been given implicit license by their patients to provide virtually all types of advice about life and living. Such physicians might or might not be religious, but these healers would possess a "love" consistent with most people's religious beliefs. Although the concept of love is seldom discussed among public relations practitioners and scholars, love as a concept has utility in discussions of professional ethics and what constitutes "excellent" public relations. While love appears to have no place in the two-way asymmetrical model of public relations advocated by Edward Bernays, it is an essential component of James Grunig's model which demands symmetrical practice and a pro-active mandate for love. Dean Kruckeberg and Kenneth Starck's recommendation to restore and maintain the sense of community that has been lost in modern society lends itself well to the metaphor of the public relations practitioner as a "healing" (and "loving") physician. The ethics for such "excellent" practice remains simple: love. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Medical Ethics; Professional Concerns; Professional Role
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (79th, Miami Beach, FL, November 18-21, 1993).