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Applying differential standards to healthcare decisions

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Autor:   •  February 13, 2011  •  463 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,950 Views

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As a paramedic when arriving at an emergency scene there was a group of scouts that had entered into cave by a scout leader that was on the large side. When exiting the cave the scout leader had to go through a narrow path and got stuck and only his head and shoulders were protruding out the opening of the cave. With the scout leader stuck the kids that were behind him can't escape and will drown. I will provide the action that I feel is correct for this case by using the following duty-oriented reasoning, consequence- oriented reasoning, and virtue- ethics reasoning.

Duty-oriented reasoning is a theory that universal principles should guide all actions. An advantage to this theory is that people are not treated as a means to an end. Consequence-oriented reasoning also known as utilitarianism is the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number, meaning a means to an end. Virtue- based ethics is an acquired quality that can enable us to achieve goods/rewards (Fremgen, B. 2009, pg.11).

When looking at this case the correct action is to do your best to save both the scout leader and the boys. As a paramedic you have a responsibility to save lives you don't have the right to sacrifice one for another. Like duty-oriented reasoning states people are not treated as a means to an end you have to exhaust every resource available to ensure that all the individuals are rescued.

Consequence-oriented reasoning also known as utilitarianism is the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number, meaning a means to an end. With consequence-oriented reasoning it also states that you have to look beyond the individual and make the most of the situation (Fremgen, B. 2009, pg.11). With every choice that is made there are consequences what may seem like a good decision at the time can feel like the wrong choice when all is done. None wants to have to sacrifice another in order to save others. I would do whatever I could to ensure that everyone survived.

Virtue- based ethics consists of various behaviors like perseverance, courage, integrity, and compassion (Fremgen, B. 2009, pg.11). Making the correct ethical choice can be hard at times because as individuals we want to show or prove that were good. As a paramedic you swore to save the lives of others and you have to have courage and be compassionate when put in a situation that's not always good. With the scout master even though all possible routes of escape were checked you can't give up, you have to do your job. It's not your decision to be made and by being put in that situation can make you do things or make choices that you might not have made.

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