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Law and Ethics (Coursework Sample)


You are a paramedic arriving at an emergency scene. A group of scouts have entered a cave that is now filling with water. They were led into the cave by a rather large scoutmaster. Unfortunately, while leading them out of the cave, the scoutmaster somehow managed to get stuck in a narrow opening with only his head and shoulders protruding out. With his upper torso stuck outside the cave, it appears the scoutmaster will survive, but all the boys below will drown if they cannot escape. After you have checked all possible escape routes and have attempted to extricate the scoutmaster, it becomes clear that the only way to save the boys is to sacrifice the scoutmaster and remove him from the hole so the rest of the scouts can escape. What is the correct action for this case? Justify your decision using each of the following: ???Duty-oriented reasoning (1 to 2 Paragraphs) ???Consequence-oriented reasoning (1 to 2 Paragraphs) ???Virtue-ethics reasoning (1 to 2 Paragraphs) Based on your analysis, consider what might be the ultimate dilemma of ethics and include your answer to each of the following questions: ???What happens when people apply differential standards (all valid) to health care decisions? Explain with supporting examples. (2 to 3 Paragraphs) ???How does an individual determine who is ultimately right when different decisions are reached? (2 to 3 Paragraphs)

RUNNING HEAD: Law and Ethics
There is a general concern among most healthcare employees concerning the potential risks wrought about by the exposure to the situations they encounter in their clinical practices. Actually, in the United States, there is a litigation crisis as evidences by the increase in civil suits based on ethical malpractices and this in itself poses a real threat on the participants within the health care delivery system (Jost,&Wuerth,2011)..
From the duty oriented reasoning perspective that largely borrows from Immanuel Kant’s moral theory, the main guiding principle in the case is the intention. Notably, the perspective mainly relies on those universal principles that guide what kind of action one is required to take ion particular circumstances. In summary, according to the perspective, the ramifications of the particular action taken are not particularly important compared to the principle moral law that necessitates the said action. Simply put, the existence of one’s duty is the determining factor of the morality behind the particular action. For instance, each individual has a moral duty to maintain honesty irrespective of the fact that honesty has certain negative outcomes. Therefore, the use of lies to save a single life is morally decadent because of the obligation to remain honest.
In the scenario outlined, the starting point is to ascertain the moral obligation. Being a paramedic, one is bestowed with certain implied obligations and duties which are to help those in need. In addition, there is a social -political obligation to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society are protected. Therefore, considering the exigency of the matter, it is important to outline the priorities before taking any action. Admittedly, the overriding duty in the case will be centred on protecting the vulnerable lives: save the children. Admittedly, children are generally considered to be among the most vulnerable society members and as such any assistance accorded to them has much higher moral suasion in fulfilling the duty. Admittedly, this will demand that the scoutmaster be sacrificed for the general good of the vulnerable members in the team. However, the sacrifice is entirely based on the moral law in which the innocent victims have to be protected. Consequently, by sacrificing the scoutmaster, it is generally presumed that the action is morally acceptable in light of the circumstances in play (Fremgen, 2009)...
According to the consequences-oriented reasoning, the guiding principle is to employ a cost/benefit analysis as the modality of benefitting most people as possible. In this regard, the reasoning here is that the results achieved are considered to be of much significance than the actions used. Simply put, this reasoning is anchored on the reasoning that it is the end that justifies the means. Therefore lying to save a life is justified by the final results. This reasoning is anchored on the principle that it is the lives of the needs o the majority far outweigh those of the individual. This reasoning has some economic impetus in the sense that it is focuses on great returns with very minimal effort. Considering the scenario in question, it is the lives of the troop that will be of significant attachment than that of the individual scoutmaster. On moral grounds, it will be considered acceptable to assist as many people as is possible even if it means sacrificing a single individual for the course. By so doing, a great number will have been saved and from a cost benefit analysis perspective, the effort will be worth (Rosen stand, 2003)..
According to the Virtue ethics reasoning point, the guiding principle will be based on what a virtuous person is capable of doing in particular circumstances. Hence, the point here is that the basis is based on the character of a particular individual and the responsibilities that emanate from the character. The main concern in this reasoning perspective is the issue of justice. According to Aristotle, justice entails treating people equally. Accordingly, a virtuous person will prefer to treat all individuals equally. From the scenario in question, the scoutmaster has a responsibility over the troops that he is leading. In this regard, a virtuous scoutmaster would have given priority to the members of the troop to escape before he himself considers exiting. In the event that the scoutmaster acted with courage, then the boys in the troop would have safely exited the trap. Justice demands that being the responsible individual, he ought to have sacrificed for the sake of the troop (Fremgen, 2009).
Notably, all the three methods guide to a similar conclusion irrespective of the fact that the reasoning and the guiding principles differ remarkably. However, there is an inherent ethical dilemma with regard to the issue of subjectivity. It is convincingly hard to ascertain which the best method is since there is no wrong or right answer in these difficult situations. The issue of morality will therefore be based on those involved as well as the examiners of the particular situation (Rosenstand, 2003).From the lens of healthcare ethics where there are several dramatic choices and circumstances, this is a matter of utmost significance ...
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