Paramedic Professionalism and Sex Work: Is it Morally Permissible for Paramedics to Also be Sex Workers?

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Abstract

In this paper we focus on the possibility that a paramedic might also be a (legal) sex worker. We consider whether such a possibility is grounds for an employer to dismiss, and/or a professional board to deregister, such a paramedic. To make this determination we consider whether it is ever permissible for an employer to dismiss someone because they are a sex worker. To this end we examine a paradigm case of permissible dismissal for engaging in sex work – that of being employed as a Catholic role model. We argue that the underlying principles that may make this dismissal permissible do not extend to the paramedic profession. We then examine an alternative argument for the permissibility of dismissing a paramedic for being a sex worker – that sex work may undermine public confidence in the profession. We put pressure on this argument, suggesting that professions have a duty to challenge certain biases even if, in doing so, public confidence in the profession may be undermined.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSexuality and Culture
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

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