What is the ethical dilemma?
An ethical dilemma is a complex situation with a conflict between the moral options available and in which to obey one result to transgressing the other. One has to make a choice between two options and neither of which provides an ethical solution as required.
What are your value and ethical position related to the case? Include a discussion of theory and principles on which your position is based.
In the case presented, I find it a dilemma since the decision taken has both negative and positive impacts. The decision to rescue the other people calling for help would be endangering the lives of the rescuers. On the contrary, the negligence to save the ailing people would result in the suffering of the victims of the tragedy. The ethical position I would take the case is to act responsibly and make the all the necessary attempts to save the lives of those who were suffering. According to the self-care deficit theory, it is necessary to provide the needed care to those in need when they are unable to take care of themselves. The theory recommends the need to focus on the physical, psychological, interpersonal, and social aspects of health care. Nursing is an art and a helping service, hence important to provide the needed care when a need arises (Olin, 2011). Thus, in the case presented, it would be ethical to assist the people who suffered by all means.
What are some other alternatives for resolving the problem?
The likely alternatives to resolving the problem would be seeking for another helicopter for the rescue and evacuation to replace the crushed one. Peter, the transport employee, would consult from the office for an extra helicopter to help in the rescue. Another alternative would be diving into groups and take the risk of going downstairs to save some of the victims as well as try to evacuate them from the facility. The options are risky, but it would be appropriate to take an action.
What are the possible consequences for those acceptable alternatives?
For the first alternative in seeking for a helicopter to rescue mission, it would take time before it arrives and several people would lose their lives. Also, there would be delays in the evacuation since the entire region was unsafe to land and thus, the helicopter would be placed some distance away from the scene. The next alternative is risky since it requires endangering of lives to save other people who were suffering. The consequences would be possible trapping in the tragedy, loss of lives, or unsuccessful rescue which is undesirable.
How would you prioritize the acceptable alternatives?
I would prioritize the acceptable alternatives by starting with the option of taking the risk to save lives and next seeking for another helicopter for the evacuation. It would be appropriate to take a fast action to limit the likely consequences of negligence. Nurses and other health care professionals have a mandate of caring for those in need regardless of the underlying situation. Hence, it was preferable to save lives at the expense of endangering their lives.
What is your plan of action?
The plan of action for the case aims at taking all the necessary steps in ensuring that there is a limited negative impact from the tragedy. Thus, I would first ensure the safety of the child and the mother by keeping them away from the tragedy. Next, would be to request for another rescue helicopter and in the meantime attempt to rescue the people I could from the affected facility.
Health care providers are obligated to provide for those entrusted to their care. To what extent do they meet this obligation? How might their obligation to others conflict with their obligation to themselves?
Health care providers have a significant role in ensuring the safety of the patients (Nortvedt, Hem & Skirbekk, 2011). Most of them have the willingness to meet the obligation in a good and safe working environment. However, in some situations, they are limited to offer the needed care due to the risk situations they face. Their obligation to others conflicts with their obligation to themselves when they face situations that are likely to endanger their life at the expense of others. Thus, the situations of ethical dilemma conflict their obligation to others.
Excerpt “Ethics Case Study: To Rescue Others at What Risk?”
Nortvedt, P., Hem, M. H., & Skirbekk, H. (2011). The ethics of care: Role obligations and moderate partiality in health care. Nursing Ethics, 18(2), 192-200.
Olin J. (2011) Seven Nursing Theories to Practice: Registered Nurses Central. Retrieved from http://www.rncentral.com/blog/2011/7-nursing-theories-to-practice-by/