Thursday, April 23, 2009

Ethics Panel

At the request of an MD and Ph.D. at Porter's Adventist Hospital, today I visited an Ethics Panel meeting to see if I would be interested in serving on it. This would give me some inside exposure to the moral world of hospitals from the side of the doctors, chaplains, and nurses. I am interested in them, but they need to decide upon me in light of some other community folks outside of the hospital. We did an exercise with the famous "life boat" case. I don't think crisis ethics is the best path to moral wisdom, but it was fascinating to see how people considered the value of various human lives.

It goes like this: There are ten spaces on a life boat, but fifteen people who want to get on. You are given a short description, then asked to decide who should be allowed on. I voiced concern with the method of moral reflection, but said that volunteers should be solicited who would give their seat up; then children should be picked; after that a lottery should be drawn. I had never done the exercise in a group before.

I may not be asked to be on this panel, but I hope that I am. (I may have been too vocal at the first meeting.) God willing, I could contribute some analytical insights to the moral questions that they address and rub shoulders with some concrete moral issues on site. Let me know what you think of this.

No comments:

Post a Comment