HealthSouth: A Case Study of Business Ethics

Essay by na101 October 2007

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Ethics in business has always been an issue. The business of business is a take-no-prisoners, dog-eat-dog world aspect of looking at things and with this being said at times ethics seem to go out the proverbial window. Over the years, with situations becoming more and more visible to the public, the U.S. government has had to step in and take some actions. These actions came in the form of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 which defined a lot of the accounting practices of companies as well as outlined the need for honesty in financial reporting. Richard Scrushy, CEO of HealthSouth, was the first and only CEO to be tried and now convicted under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

Richard Scrushy and HealthSouthBorn and raised in Selma, Alabama, Richard Scrushy was just an average guy trying to make an honest living. He was raised by both parents with an older sister and a younger brother and was brought up in a Methodist church.

Since the age of 12, Scrushy was always a hard worker. After receiving an education at various colleges and passing the certification exam as a respiratory-therapy technician Richard Scrushy went on to become an instructor at the University of Alabama which later led to becoming a director of the program. He then left the University of Alabama to become director at Wallace State Community College in Dothan, Alabama. After spending 5 years purchasing and developing hospitals Richard started developing his own company which later became known as HealthSouth. He developed the concept of moving patients quickly through rehab programs, allowing employees to return to their work, athletes to their game, and seniors to their independence sooner and healthier. His idea was the genesis for HealthSouth.

Eventually HealthSouth was born, Richard was the CEO...