Mid-West Quarterly, The (1913-1918)


Date of this Version



Published in THE MID-WEST QUARTERLY Vol. 1, No. 4 (July 1914).


We are aware that a lawyer, by the very nature of his profession, comes into peculiar relations with his clients, and therefore with other lawyers, with the courts, and with the outside world. By reason of the trust that is reposed in him, there are many things which he might do in an underhand way to gain personal advantage. All this, however, has been in some degree rectified by the development of a code of professional ethics, of such character that the man who offends against it is damaged by a certain loss of caste. The physician, in like manner, has to a marked degree the trust and the ear of his patients; and he might gain many an unfair advantage, either by betraying the confidences of his patients or by using his opportunity to foster damaging estimates concerning the skill of other physicians, his natural rivals. But here again the code of professional ethics becomes clear and explicit. The honorable man is thus warned concerning the things which he should not do by reason of his peculiar professional situation; and the man of less keen moral susceptibilities may even feel as a threat the strong class consciousness that is in this way called into action.