by Lawrence M. Hinman
Ethics quickly becomes noticeable when things go wrong.
Scandals initially focus attention on the misdeed and the immediate perpetrators, and gradually the focus expands to examine the structures that permitted such abuses by covering them up or even by encouraging them. Rapes involving college football players, child sexual abuse by priests, cheating scandals at military academies, abuse of prisoners by police and prison authorities — the investigation of such actions typically leads to scrutinizing the wider conditions that made it possible. Along the way, investigations often result in the establishment of structures intended to prevent the recurrence of such abuses.