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When Key Stakeholders Disagree: A Disability Manager’s Ethical Dilemma. Fred McGinn Ph.D. Dalhousie University Disability Management School of Health & Human Performance. Case of Heinz.

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when key stakeholders disagree a disability manager s ethical dilemma

When Key Stakeholders Disagree: A Disability Manager’s Ethical Dilemma

Fred McGinn Ph.D.

Dalhousie University

Disability Management

School of Health & Human Performance

case of heinz
Case of Heinz

Heinz’s wife is dying from a special kind of cancer. There is one drug that doctors believe might save her. It is a form of radium that a druggist in the same town has recently discovered. The drug was expensive to make, but the druggist was charging 10 times what the drug cost to produce. He paid $200 for the radium and charged $2000 for a small dose of the drug. Heinz went to everyone he knew to borrow the money, but he could only collect $1000, which is half the cost. He informed the druggist that his wife was dying and asked him to sell it cheaper or let him pay later. The druggist said, “No. I discovered the drug and I’m going to make money on it”. Heinz has become desperate, and is contemplating breaking in to the store to steal the drug.

Question: Should Heinz steal the drug?

should heinz steal the drug
Should Heinz Steal the Drug?
  • A) No, Heinz should not steal because he might get caught.
  • B) Yes, Heinz should steal the drug, because he loves his wife and wants her to be with him for many years to come.
  • C) Yes, Heinz should steal the drug, because he knows that all good husbands should be willing to save their spouses.
  • D) No, Heinz should not steal the drug, because it is against the law.
  • E) Yes, Heinz should steal the drug, because it isn’t fair that the druggist should have the power to determine whether his wife lives or dies.
  • F) Yes, Heinz should steal the drug, because life is more important than property.
some givens about ethics
Some “Givens” About Ethics
  • Everyone needs to be treated with respect
  • Each person has a right to come to her/his own ethical conclusions.
  • Ethics that works only for the advantage of the individual with total disregard of others is not acceptable.
  • People are, or can be, rationale.
  • Different people have different values - there will be disagreements in ethics.
4 opinions 4 characters
4 opinions – 4 Characters
  • )“Whatever makes me happy is right”
  • )“Whatever works is right”
  • )“Whatever is helpful to others is right”
  • )“Whatever is fair is right”
beauchamp childress 1989 principles of biomedical ethics
Beauchamp & Childress, (1989), “Principles of biomedical ethics”
  • Relevance of 5 ethical principles (beneficence, nonmaleficence, autonomy, justice & fidelity) for guiding behavior of health professionals.
five ethical principles
Five Ethical Principles
  • Beneficence: Desire to do good.
beneficence
Beneficence
  • Providing a client with vocational training compatible with the recommendations contained in client’s vocational evaluation report.
  • Advocating for the client in the area of accessibility.
  • Funding a service to prolong a client’s productive life
  • Providing support services to the family that are necessary to facilitate the client’s rehabilitation gains.
five ethical principles20
Five Ethical Principles

2) Nonmaleficence: Desire to prevent harm.

nonmaleficence
Nonmaleficence
  • Confronting a client concerning his/her self-destructive lifestyle
  • Intervening to meet the specific health care and safety needs of a client
  • Hippocratic Oath: First, donoharm
five ethical principles22
Five Ethical Principles

3) Autonomy: Desire to promote the freedom of others to make personal choices.

autonomy is dependant upon
Autonomy is Dependant Upon:
  • Rehabilitation Practitioner refrains from unnecessary interference in client’s choice-making actions.
  • Client is provided full disclosure of information, including informed consent.
  • Client has competence to use information in decision-making process.
five ethical principles25
Five Ethical Principles

4) Justice: Desire to promote the fair treatment of people

justice
Justice
  • Respect people as individuals and serve all in an equitable and fair manner
  • Keeping individual case service costs down in order to provide services to a large number of clients
  • Being equally accessible to all clients
  • Clearly separating professional from personal points of view
five ethical principles28
Five Ethical Principles

5) Fidelity: Desire to be true to one’s commitments

fidelity
Fidelity
  • Respecting policies and procedures in a professional manner
  • Carrying out a previous rehabilitation professional’s commitment to a client(s)
  • Is worthy of trust and recognizes the importance of confidentiality
confidentiality duty to warn
Confidentiality – Duty to Warn
  • Tarasoff v. Regents of the University of California (1976).
  • Breaching Confidentiality – Definition of “Harm”
ethics and research
Ethics and Research
  • Nuremburg Code – 1947
    • Respect for Persons (dignity and freedom of every subject)
    • Researchers must maximize benefits and minimize harm
    • Equitable selection and fair treatment of subjects
five ethical principles33
Five Ethical Principles
  • Beneficence
  • Nonmaleficence
  • Autonomy
  • Justice
  • Fidelity
examples of actions in the rehabiliation process that are associated with the 5 ethical principles
Examples of actions in the rehabiliation process that are associated with the 5 Ethical Principles:
  • Timely delivery of services (adhering to Beneficence)
  • Refrain from negligent behavior (adhering to Nonmaleficence)
  • Encouraging consumers to choose their own rehabilitation goals (adhering to Autonomy)
  • Refusing to spend limited available time assisting an unmotivated consumer who is not working toward his/her rehabilitation goals (adhering to Justice)
  • Adhering to organizational policies (Fidelity)
types of ethical dilemmas that may be encountered
Types of Ethical Dilemmas That May Be Encountered
  • Providing comprehensive and costly rehabilitation services to a few individuals vs. providing adequate and timely service to a larger number of individuals.
  • Maintaining confidentiality vs. protecting harm by providing relevant information.
types of ethical dilemmas cont
Types of Ethical Dilemmas (cont)
  • Keeping required paperwork up to date at any given time vs. allotting sufficient time to provide direct services.
  • Adhering to agency management guidelines vs. providing an optimal package of rehabilitation services to a client.
ethical dilemmas
Ethical Dilemmas
  • For example, stealing government property for your own personal gain would be a “moral temptation” not an ethical dilemma.
  • Deciding whether scarce resources should go to a needy client or a group of less needy clients, and how you make that decision, might constitute an ethical dilemma.
characteristics of an ethical dilemma
Characteristics of an Ethical Dilemma
  • A choice must be made between two courses of action.
  • There are significant consequences for taking either course of action.
  • Each of the two courses of action can be supported by one or more ethical principles.
  • The ethical principles supporting the un-chosen course of action will be compromised.
ethical decision making model
Ethical Decision-Making Model
  • 1) Review the case situation and determine the 2 courses of action
  • 2) List the reasons supporting each action
  • 3) Identify the ethical principles supporting each reason
  • 4) List the reasons for not supporting each course of action
  • 5) Identify the ethical principles that would be compromised if each action were taken.
  • 6) Formulate a justification for the superiority of one of the 2 courses of action by processing all of the information from the previous 5 steps.
case of susan
Case of Susan
  • Susan is a 25 year old blind individual receiving CPP monthly benefits totaling $1209.00. prior to losing her vision, Susan worked for 5 years as a file clerk. Susan applied for rehabilitation services indicating that she would like to obtain work in order to improve the quality of her everyday life by reducing her social isolation. Given her 10th grade education and recent vision loss, Susan will need vocational training to enable her to obtain suitable employment. The jobs that are feasible via training for Susan all tend to pay about $1100.00 per month. Therefore, by being vocationally rehabilitated, Susan’s monthly income will slightly decrease. After being fully informed of the results of her vocational evaluation Susan indicates that she is very confused. Confusion is generally Susan’s reaction when confronted with making important decisions.
case susan cont
Case Susan (Cont.)
  • Through effective counselling you attempt to help her sort out the pros and cons of each alternative. However, all it does is raise her anxiety. Susan asks you to tell her what to do. Although you personally believe that Susan would benefit from returning to work, you suggest that she take a week to think about it and return. She returns more confused than ever and again asks you to tell her what you think she should do. You must decide whether to give her an opinion.
case of mary
Case of Mary
  • Mary is a nurse at the Claiborne Correctional Institute. Injection drug use is frequent in the prison. Approximately one of every 60 inmates is known by the institution to be HIV-positive, and approximately one of 3 inmates is HCV-positive. Mary knows that the prisoners share needles because there are very few needles in the prison, and is very concerned about HIV and HCV transmission. However, the prison does not have a needle exchange or distribution program. This frustrates Mary, since she feels that this policy is directly contributing to the spread of HIV. However, bleach distribution is permitted, and the doctor encourages prisoners to use it to sterilize their needles. She knows, however, that the evidence that bleach is an adequate sterilizing agent is inconclusive. This adds to her guilt and frustration, since she feels she is providing her patients with sub-optimal advice and care.
mary continued
Mary (Continued)
  • One morning, Mary is conducting a physical on an inmate. The patient is HIV-negative, but confesses to sharing needles. Mary knows that at least one of the people he shares with is HIV-positive. On the table between them are clean syringes that she normally uses for vaccination. She knows that if she turns away, the syringes may “disappear”. This is against prison policy, but could help prevent needle sharing. What should she do?
remember
REMEMBER
  • There is no absolute right and wrong course of action to take when faced with an ethical dilemma.
  • The nature of ethical dilemmas is such that good reasons can be provided for either of two courses of action.
  • When dealing with an ethical dilemma the most that can be expected of the rehabilitation professional is an ethically sound decision regarding the chosen course of action.
  • An ethically sound decision for resolving an ethical defense for the chosen course of action involves giving equal consideration for each course of action. Therefore, it is not sufficient to state “I chose Action A or Action B because it felt right”