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Session 4: Ethics Authors: Anna Schwab, UNC-CH Timothy Beatley, UVA. Session Objectives. 4.1 Define the term “ethics” and discuss the various typologies within ethical philosophy.

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Session 4: EthicsAuthors: Anna Schwab, UNC-CHTimothy Beatley, UVA

Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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Session Objectives

4.1 Define the term “ethics” and discuss the various typologies within ethical philosophy.

4.2. Identify some plausible ethical quandaries that may confront emergency managers in the catastrophe setting; discuss the relevance of applied ethics to catastrophe response actions as well as planning and policy-formation.

4. 3. Discuss the concept of professional ethics and the application of codes of conduct to catastrophe readiness and response.

(Continue)

Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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Session Objectives (continued)

4.4. Discuss the relationship between ethics and law; identify specific areas of the law that impact catastrophe readiness and response, including rights guaranteed under the US Constitution, statutory laws governing vulnerable populations, and international human rights laws.

4.5 Define the “moral community”; discuss to what degree an ethical duty is owed to that community during planning for catastrophe readiness and response. Consider the needs of the socially vulnerable, and how addressing those needs may reduce the severity of a catastrophic event.

Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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What Do Ethics Mean to You?

Sociologist Raymond Baumhart elicited the following responses to this question from a group of business people:

Ethics has to do with what my feelings tell me is right or wrong.

Ethics has to do with my religious beliefs.

Being ethical is doing what the law requires.

Ethics consists of the standards of behavior our society accepts.

I don’t know what the word means.


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Sources of Ethical Thinking

  • Religion and Religious Texts/Tradition

  • Biology/Evolutionary Needs

  • Intuition

  • Ethical Theories/Arguments/Thought Exercises

  • Constitutions/Legal Doctrines

  • Rationality

Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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Ethics Definitions

  • As an Academic Discipline:

    “The branch of philosophy that deals with the general nature of good and bad and the specific moral obligations of and choices to be made by the individual in his relationship with others.” (American Heritage Dictionary).

  • As Applied:

    “Ethics refers to standards of conduct, standards that indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues, which themselves are derived from principles of right and wrong.” (Josephson Institute on Ethics)

  • Professional Ethics:

    “The rules or standards governing conduct, esp. of the members of a profession.” (American Heritage Dictionary)

Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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Ethics Typologies

  • Teleological Ethics (Utilitarianism):

    The rightness or wrongness of an action or policy is assessed by its consequences, specifically by looking at the comparative balance of positive versus negative results.

    Example:

    • Cost-Benefit Analysis

  • Deontological Ethics (Duty-Based)

    There is an inherent rightness or wrongness to an action or choice, regardless of the outcome or consequence. Certain obligations are considered an ethical duty, and should not be subject to utilitarian reasoning.

    Examples:

    • “Duty for duty’s sake”

    • “Virtue is its own reward”

    • “Let justice reign”

  • Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Teleological/Utilitarian Perspectives

    • Maximizing welfare/Utility as the ultimate goal

    • Market values on land and environment are paramount

    • “Price” as the common metric; highest and best economic use

    • Value determined through personal preferences and casting of dollar “votes”

    • Benefit-cost analysis/contingent valuation

    • Present discounting

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Deontological Perspectives

    • Individual rights and respect for personal autonomy

    • Culpability and prevention of harm

    • Social justice and equity

    • Duties to future generations

    • Duties to keep promises

    • Duties to larger geographic publics and communities

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Ethical Quandaries in Catastrophe Planning & Response

    • How do we ethically determine allocation & distribution of benefits & burdens?

    • How to determine the fairness of unintended consequences?

    • Public participation/affected individuals

    • Determining roles of responsibility/duty

      • Limits on duty for self preservation?

    • Private responsibilities vs. public duties

      (Continue)

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Ethical Quandaries in Catastrophe Planning & Response(continued)

    • To whom is a duty owed?

    • How do we enforce limitations on individual rights?

      • Curfew; quarantine; evacuation?

    • What duty of communication/warning is owed the public?

    • What is the duty of the media in disseminating messages about risk?

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Applied Ethics

    How a moral outcome can be achieved in specific situations

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    5 Approaches to Moral Issues

    • The Utilitarian Approach

      • Identify courses of action

      • Ask who will be affected

      • Choose the action with greatest benefit and least harm

    • The Rights Approach

      • Does the action respect the moral rights of everyone?

    • The Fairness or Justice Approach

      • How fair is the action?

      • Does it show favoritism or discrimination?

        (Continued)

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    5 Approaches to Moral Issues(continued)

    • The Common-Good Approach

      • Are policies, systems, institutions and environments beneficial to all?

      • Does the action respect individual freedom while furthering common goals?

    • The Virtue Approach

      • Development of individual character traits

      • Cultivating particular virtues might contribute to catastrophe response activities:

        • Sharing

        • Generosity

        • Cooperation

          (Continued)

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Applying Ethics During Catastrophe Response

    A pre-determined framework for ethical decision-making is essential for optimal outcome during catastrophe response.

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Triage

    Triage is a system for making real-time decisions by prioritizing needed actions based on available resources, manpower, etc. during crisis conditions.

    • Battlefield Triage

    • Medical Triage

      • Mass Casualty Events (MSE)

    • Legal Triage

    • Response Triage

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Principles for Planning and Policy Formation

    • Fairness and Equity

    • Openness and Transparency

    • Reciprocity

    • Proportionality

    • Flexibility

    • Evidence-Based

    • Respect Community Norms

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Professional Ethics

    The moral code which guides the members of the profession in the proper conduct of their duties and obligations.

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Professional Ethics for Emergency Managers

    The Code of Ethics of the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) states support for the following Core Values:

    • Respect

    • Commitment

    • Professionalism

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Professional Codes of Ethics

    • Doctors/Nurses/Medical Clinicians

    • Public Health Workers

    • First Responders/Emergency Medical Technicians

    • Architects

    • Engineers

    • Planners

    • Building Inspectors

    • Insurance Agents

    • Vendors/Suppliers

    • Volunteer Relief Organizations

    • Scientific Researchers

    • Others?

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    The Extent of Professional Duty

    • Medical, emergency response, public health, and other professionals frequently confront danger when carrying out the responsibilities of their respective jobs.

    • When duty conflicts with responsibility to oneself, many codes of professional conduct guide professionals to limit risk to personal safety and to protect individual integrity.

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    The Good Samaritan Doctrine

    One who sees a person in imminent and serious peril through negligence of another cannot be charged with contributory negligence, as a matter of law, in risking his own life or serious injury in attempting to effect a rescue, provided the attempt is not recklessly or rashly made. Under this doctrine, negligence of a volunteer rescuer must worsen the position of the person in distress before liability will be imposed.

    Black’s Law Dictionary

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Professional Codes: The Role of the Media in Catastrophe Readiness & Response

    • Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics:

      “Professional integrity is the cornerstone of a journalist’s credibility.”

    • Principles of Journalism:

      • Seek the truth and report it

      • Minimize harm

      • Act independently

      • Be accountable (continue)

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    The Role of the Media in Catastrophe Readiness & Response (continued)

    • Crisis Communication:

      “Without doubt, passing on warnings is the clearest, most consistent role of mass media in disaster.” (Quarantelli)

    • Perpetuating Disaster Myths

      • The media has allegedly perpetuated many myths of disaster:

        • People panic & act irrationally/are paralyzed with fear

          • Truth: most victims are NOT dazed & confused but help in initial search and rescue

        • Rampant crime, looting, violence always occurs

          • Truth: crime rates often FALL in immediate aftermath

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Ethics & Law

    • That which is legal is not necessary ethical, and vice versa

    • Emergency managers must look to the law, but legal guidance does not address every difficulty:

      • Potential catastrophe situations may not be addressed by statute or case law

      • Wide variation in state statutes that do exist

      • Laws can be ambiguous and broad, or too narrow

      • The law does not address the breadth of ethical imperatives in emergency response

      • The law itself may not reflect ethical behavior

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Constitutional Rights

    Rights protected by the US Constitution are NOT suspended during times of crisis!

    • Right to Due Process: 14th Amendment

      • “Fairness”

        • Procedural Due Process: all legal proceedings must be fair, with notice and an opportunity to be heard before the government may impinge on basic liberties

        • Substantive Due Process: no law may be unreasonable, arbitrary or capricious

    • Right to Equal Protection: 14th Amendment

      • “No State shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws”

      • Prohibits race-based and other forms of discrimination

        (continue)

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Constitutional Rights(continued)

    Rights protected by the US Constitution are NOT suspended during times of crisis!

    • Cruel & Unusual Punishment: 8th Amendment

      • Governs treatment of incarcerated individuals

    • Habeas Corpus: Article 1, Section 9

      “The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it.”

      • Latin for “You have the body”

      • Writ (legal action) directed to person detaining another to bring the prisoner before a court or judge

        • Tests the legality of the imprisonment, not the guilt or innocence of the prisoner

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Civil RightsLaws

    Persons in the United States shall not be denied the benefits of, excluded from participation in, or subject to discrimination under federally-funded programs or activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age:

    • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

    • Americans with Disabilities Act

    • Rehabilitation Act

    • Age Discrimination Act

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Executive Ordersto protect vulnerable populations

    • EO 13166: LEP

      • Federal programs must account for populations with limited English proficiency (LEP)

    • EO 12898: Environment Justice

      • Federal actions must be evaluated for disproportionately high and adverse effects on minority or low-income populations and to avoid disproportionate impacts where possible

    • EO 13347: Individuals with Disabilities in Emergency Preparedness

      • Promotes consideration of the safety and security of the disabled during emergencies

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    International Human Rights Law

    International laws protect basic human rights in times of natural disaster:

    • International Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

    • International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights

    • Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women

    • Convention on the Rights of the Child

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    International Human Rights Laws(continued)

    Other International Policies and Standards:

    • Sphere Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response

    • UN Inter-Agency Standing Committee Internally Displaced Persons Policy

    • Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOS in Disaster Relief

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Human Rights of Disaster Victims

    Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (the Sphere Project):

    • The Right to Water

    • The Right to Food

    • The Right to Shelter

    • The Right to Health

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Dimensions of the Moral Community

    • Biological Dimension

      • People, animals, other living things?

    • Temporal Dimension

      • Protection of future generations?

    • Geographical Dimension

      • International disaster relief?

      • US Aid to foreign nations?

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Our Moral Community:Focus on Vulnerable Populations

    Myth: Disasters kill people without respect for social class or economic status

    Reality: The poor and marginalized are much more at risk of death than are rich people or the middle class

    (Alexander)

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Factors Increasing Social Vulnerability

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Social Inequity: From Disaster to Catastrophe

    Population security is essential for a society that is fully prepared to withstand disaster and is able to bounce back after disaster strikes.

    Existing social inequities make our population more vulnerable to disaster impacts, thereby creating conditions that allow disaster to morph into catastrophe.

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Population Security

    Many social and economic factors make the population more resilient:

    • Housing security

    • Food security

    • Health security

    • Access to education

    • Access to credit

    • Job security

    • Participation in the democratic process

    • Etc.

    Session 4: Catastrophe Readiness and Response Course


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    Summary

    • The ethical dimension of catastrophe readiness and response is complicated and draws guidance from many sources.

    • Catastrophes are more likely than many other events to present ethical dilemmas.

    • There are numerous laws, covenants, codes and agreements that establish human rights regardless of the scenario.


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    Summary(continued)

    • Emergency managers need to be aware of ethical underpinnings of all decisions they make on behalf of the public.


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