Ethical Decision Making Paper

1906 WordsMay 28, 20148 Pages
Lindsey Diana Ethics-PHI-220-402 Dianne Wendt October 25, 2011 Ethical Decision Making Paper A health care case in need of evaluation using the steps to ethical decision making is described in Ethical Dimensions in the Health Professions by Ruth B. Purtilo and Regina F. Doherty. According to the book, a student named Andrea was working in the outpatient clinic one morning when she saw someone she knew. Her father’s business partner, Mr. Brown, whose health was failing and interfering with his earnings according to her father, was sitting in the waiting area chatting with another man. The man was young and very different from Mr. Brown, wearing a torn leather jacket. Andrea did not think anything of it at the time because she…show more content…
On the other hand, she could potentially save Mr. Brown’s life by turning him in so, in addition to probable prison time, he can get clean of all drug use with rehab. Apply Ethical Theories & Approaches Now that Andrea knows what type of ethical problem she is dealing with, she needs to use ethical theories or approaches to analyze her problem. One ethical theory is utilitarianism which states that an act is right if it helps to bring about the best balance of benefits over burdens (Purtilo and Doherty 92). The benefits of reporting Mr. Brown’s possession of drugs to Andrea’s supervisor and to the police include potentially saving Mr. Brown’s life, he will get better, and if he is allowed to return to work after his time served in prison, his work life (which Andrea’s father described as in trouble because his failing health was interfering with his earnings) would be greatly improved. The burdens of reporting him, however, include possible prison time for Mr. Brown and/or a fine, he could lose his job and in effect possibly endanger Andrea’s father’s career, and since Andrea and Mr. Brown know each other personally, Mr. Brown could try and get back at her
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