Given its mission, the board of RescEwe has adopted a code of ethics to guide its board members, committee members, and staff in their conduct, at minimum, when acting on behalf of RescEwe, and hopefully, extending into their private life as well. The Code contains principles reflecting the types of behavior RescEwe expects towards constituents, dependants, donors, volunteers, employees, peers and the public. It does not answer every ethical question, or issue that might arise. Rather, it is to guide an organization that gives ethical conduct the highest priority. It is specifically a framework of behaviors, and for decision making. When an ethical dilemma is encountered, the individual must reach a decision as to how to act. This is not as uncommon as one may think. Consider compassionate euthanasia, whatever decision is reached, it is the product of the dilemma between holding life sacred, and preventing unnecessary suffering. In as much as the ability to deal with paradoxes is the key to intelligence, dealing with dilemmas is the key to ethical behavior. This Code will be reviewed by the board periodically. All constituents of RescEwe should:
- Be loving. Love is first, and it is the lens that clarifies all the others. Love should be understood as; When another’s pleasure, security, and desires are as important as ones own. If something can not be done in love, it probably should not be done, and If it can be done in love, it probably should be done.
- Be Respectful. All life is sacred, and as such all are deserving of the respect due to the sacred. Even if one disagrees with another, allow them their rightly deserved dignity. Be free with deserved praise, and complements.
- Be Tolerant. We are flawed beings in a flawed world. Acknowledge, and accept those flaws as only a small part of the whole person. Accept that bad things will happen, and understand that it is only an obstacle that needs to be overcome.
- Be Fair. Play by the rules. Take turns. Listen to people with an open mind. Acknowledge contributions from other individuals and organizations. Take responsibility for your own mistakes, and give others the same benefit of the doubt that you give yourself. Don’t take unfair advantage of other people.
- Be Truthful. Be honest, and forthright. Honor your commitments, fulfill obligations and promises. Only make promises you can keep.
- Be Responsible. Act at all times in the best interest of RescEwe, its members, constituents, dependants, donors and reputation.
- Be Discrete. Respect the confidentiality of sensitive information about RescEwe, and its constituents, dependants, donors, volunteers, and employees.
- Be Lawful. Comply with applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations and fiduciary responsibilities, and abide by the governing documents and policies of RescEwe.
- Be Compassionate. Show kindness to all, but especially the weak and needy. Alleviate unnecessary suffering and discomfort whenever possible.
With closer inspection, many of these points overlap in their application. As an example, fairness is a contributing factor in tolerance. All members of the board of directors, standing committee members, as well as staff, interns and volunteers are responsible for ensuring adherence to this Code of Ethics at all times.