Reply to post by Stephen Wiley, on September 20, 1999 at 22:14:22:
Stephen, there are a few ways to read your question.
The biggest picture way is "Is it unethical to blow the whistle on another arborist?" Unfortuneately, at least in my opinion, there is sometimes a "code" of silence that sort of says it's bad form to speak ill of someone in your profession or trade. Doesn't make us look good, or don't want somebody to do it to me or you're just trying to eliminate competiton. In my opinion there is no ethical duty to shield a colleague from scrutiny or to avoid exposing poor practices.
Another very big issue is "Is it unethical to make statements or recommendations without complete facts?" Well that depneds on the statement or recommendation. If you don't have the facts you should not say actions were either right or wrong and you should not say any particular remedy is justified. But if based on the facts you have you think something's not right it certainly seems appropriate to recommend that all the facts be obtained.
I believe the ASCA SPP Committee has suggested that members approach other members suspected of improper actions to get that other members version of facts - in a collegial fashion - before making complaints. The other person might have been completely justified and proper in actions taken, or might have been unaware of certain things and be grateful for your input. Or just maybe was way off base and needs to be disciplined. Such an approach might be appropriate in a non-ASCA setting as well.
Questions come to mind in this particular case like: was the arborist qualified for and experienced in the use of the particular material and technique? Was the application needed or justifiable? Was it applied according to label and other required procedueres? Are there label or literature cautions about phyto-toxic effects? Was the client advised of any such risk?
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