Ethical dilemmas are almost a daily occurrence as leaders strive to make complex decisions in the best interest of their followers. They often spark a heated debate. Leaders make the real difference hence an understanding for ethics and ethical dilemmas are vital for them. Being a leader, a person is expected to make sound decisions on ethical consequences of the actions taken. It is therefore paramount to discover and analyze what values are at stake and make a sound decision. This paper seeks to explore leaders and ethical dilemmas. A case is cited in the medical field. A guide for solving ethical dilemmas is also given.
Leaders and Ethical Dilemmas
A leader is a person who influences other people towards the achievement of a given goal. A leader knows the way, leads the way and walks the way. He has a group of people whose trust he has won and he shows them the way. As stated by Tocquigny & Butcher (2012), a leader has a vision, the drive and commitment as well as the skills to achieve that vision and can’t compromise core values.
An ethical dilemma refers to a situation where a person finds it hard to decide on moral basis. It refers to situations that challenge our abilities to determine the right thing to do. Ethical dilemmas assume that the person will abide by societal norms to make the choice ethically. It places a person in a dual challenge loyalty as highlited by Allhoff, (2008). Ethical dilemmas confront leaders as they endeavor to choose options among competing sets of beliefs, values and principals. It is decision that requires choice among competing principles in a complex context. One is expected to decide what is wrong or right, legal or illegal. There is no universe guideline for solving ethical dilemmas (Rhodes, Francis & Silvers, 2007).
Doctor Carlos and Ethical Dilemmas
According to Redfield, (2013), it is crucial for doctors to learn to identify and make reasonable decisions in the face of an ethical dilemma which is a critical component of this professionalism. The doctors are not exceptional in the daily cases that people in a fix and a practical solution has to be found. Here is such a case.
Carlos is Cindy’s personal doctor. He has examined Cindy with cervical cancer in its chronic stage. He knows that the girl is getting married to his best friend. It is clear to him that this disease will ruin their marriage and can even result to a divorce. Should he tell his friend about this issue or remain damp about it and allow fate to take its course?
Carlos works for Memorial Hospital, one of top five hospitals in India that treat cancer. Cancer is one of the fatal diseases. It is increased by increased migration of rural population to urban centers, lifestyle changes and increase in life expectancy. India reports high rates of oral and esophageal cancer. However, there is high possibility of treating cancers if detected early.
Cindy is a patient of cervical cancer. Rajaram, Chitrathara & Maheshwari (2012), said this is a disease resulting from abnormal growth of cells that are able to spread or increase tom other body parts. The symptoms include vaginal bleeding, pelvis pain or pain during sexual intercourse. The main causes of cervical cancer include smoking, poor immune system in the body, birth control pills, starting sex at an early age as well as having many sex partners. This type of cancer reports high rate of deaths among women. However, it can be treated if detected early enough.
Memorial hospital is located at Parel, Mumbai in India and was initially started with a major concern of providing medical service to India people. It was later taken up by Cancer research Institute with a mandate to service, Education and Research in Cancer. It offers affordable medicine, has qualified doctors and pays attention to innovations so as to discover more drugs and emphasizes on group work to ensure excellent results. Today, the hospital serves a large number of Cancer patients from India and other countries. The hospital is committed to offering patient care and service, clinical research programs and randomized trials to contribute increasingly to improved delivery of care and highest standards of ethics. The hospital has more than 500 employees.
Friendship refers to mutual affection between two or more people. This interpersonal bond is characterized by sympathy, honesty, empathy, altruism, compassion and mutual understanding. Carlos is Cindy’s husband to be friend and he has a duty to demonstrate true characteristics of friendship. Carlos should also uphold his ethics of doctors such as privacy and caring. Cindy’s fiancé may dump her soon after marriage once he realizes what she is suffering from.
Marriage refers to union between two people that establishes obligation between them, their children and the law. It is an institution of interpersonal relationship. This set up involves the couple to do some of their things jointly. This means it won’t be long before Cindy and her husband visits Carlos for medical if not social meeting.
Doctors are entrusted with the work of treating patients. They also give medical advice on how to prevent and reduce effects of certain illness. To do this effectively, they uphold the following core values; competence, caring, responsibility, compassion and integrity. They also believe in the spirit of enquiry, commitment, confidentiality and advocacy, (Wattis & Curran, 2011).
A Guide to Resolving an Ethical Dilemma
Baheti, Dwarkadas & Laheri, (2014), suggested that when in an ethical dilemma, it is important to recognize the situation as one that raises ethical dilemma and then identify which value, moral imperative or principal has come into conflict. Clear away the irrelevant information and identify the ethically significant aspects of the problem. A person should seek additional information from the possible and helpful sources. Any relevant law or professionalism should be put into consideration that guides that sector. The dilemma should be subjected to critical analysis by balancing the relevant factors, principles, guidance, views and opinions given by Friends or colleagues. The nature and the strength of the obligation and the potential harms should be weighed. The decision should not be made under pressure or using imperfect information so that a person can be able to justify the decision with sound arguments.
The essence of this paper was to try and make some contribution to the ethical decision making. Carlos can encourage his friend to attend medical seminar which enlighten people on how to live conductively with people suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer. This will prepare him mentally even as he gets into marriage. It may be unethical incase he discloses the issue to his friend, the two fail to marry and then a medicine to cure cancer is discovered. He also has a duty to discuss the dilemma with the top management of the hospital so that frequent counseling forums for the public can be organized. These seminars should insist that there is hope since with increase in research and innovation a cure will be found. This will ensure that marriage and other set ups coexist in peace and the sick in the society do not feel sidelined. Cindy can keep up her hop of getting married and living happily and follow the doctor’s prescription.
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