AbstractThe circumscribed quadrature of professional ethics aims to show the necessary shift from deontology to professional ethics, from deontological codes to ethical codes. While deontology and the deontological codes that materialise from it set their sights on professionals' responsibilities, professional ethics and the ethical codes that should derive from it would set their sights on the professional act, on its successful performance. In this way, the stress comes to be placed not only on the professional's responsibility, although that too, but also on the necessary orchestration of the responsibilities shared at numerous levels by everyone involved in the performance of the professional act. The author identifies and typifies five elements present in the professional act. Four of them involve direct the protagonism of the professional, the recipient of the professional service, the institution that makes the service possible and from which the professionals' service is offered, and finally the human factor, the people who are behind the aforementioned factors and their nature, the professional, the recipient of the services and institutions. And each of these factors paves the way for a series of diversified protagonisms: inter-professional cooperation, receiver of professional services and their human environment around them, macro and micro institutions, diverse human profiles. However, all of this takes place within the framework of the fifth important element in professional ethics: a given, specific society as a circumscription of the four elements cited above, which sets the moral bar, a set of convictions and desired collective ethics which unquestionably also affect the performance of professional acts. With this reflection, we take note of the necessary co-responsibility in the provision of professional services, a co-responsibility which we could express simply in healthcare terms: it is not enough to merely have sound healthcare professionals if we do not have good patients with favourable affective environments, nor sound healthcare institutions, nor serious people who are socially committed to their work and their role, nor a society that believes in and fosters given identifiers of the personal and professional health to which we aim. The reflections in this proposal embark on a pathway of reflection which, we believe, deserves to be further explored.