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Ethics for the Real World: Creating a Personal Code to Guide Decisions in Work and Life by Bill Birchard, Clinton D. Korver, Ronald A. Howard

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CHAPTER 1

Almost Ethical

Waking Up to Compromise

The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.

—Attributed to Samuel Johnson (English lexicographer and author, 1709–1784)

LORI ALTSHULER, Vivien Burt, Lee Cohen, and Adele Viguera probably never expected to see their names on the front page of the Wall Street Journal—least of all for an ethical mistake.1 The four of them are leading physicians at the medical schools of Harvard and UCLA. Altshuler, for example, holds a UCLA-endowed professorship in psychiatry, and she has won several awards for teaching and research. She directs two research programs, for mood disorders and women’s health.

But on July 7, 2006, the four physicians earned headline billing ...

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