Find an Ethical Situation from the Print Media (Newspaper, Journals, Magazine) that Describes One Ethical Situation
Find an ethical situation from the print media (newspaper, journals, magazine) that describes one ethical situation. It does not have to be in healthcare. You may use online-newspapers and journals but not blogs.
Write a summary of the ethical situation and then identify, with explanation, the ethical principles the situation presents
Application of Ethical Principles
Ethical principles are code of conducts that allow people to interact and undertake their responsibilities with high level of integrity. The ability to distinguish and react to ethical dilemmas while treating patients is a complicated process that should be taken seriously by even the experienced nurses in their field. Busy schedules and caseloads reduce the opportunities for thorough assessment of ethical dilemmas that usually require a decision. There are copious codes of ethical conduct that guide different nursing professionals while dealing with ethical dilemmas (Aitamaa, Suhonen, Puukka, & Leino-Kilpi, 2019). The codes are important because they are useful in giving the public and the client’s assurance of the ethical constraints of the certified behavior than in granting nurses or medical professionals with a valuable frame of reference for dealing with diverse dilemmas usually encountered in the treatment process.
According to the Washington Post on 1st February 2020, there was an ethical situation. Keith Corl was operating in Las Vegas emergency room when a male patient arrived with chest pain. After some analysis in the triage, patient was taken for X-ray as well as other tests. However, later on in the treatment area, Doctor Corl met the man, lifted his shirt and concluded that he was suffering from viral infection characterized by the shingles on the skin (“Doctor’s Struggle”, n.d). Tha patient had to pay for the tests even though they were not conducted, which contradicts the ethical principle of non-malfeasance. In other words, the patient had to pay extra $1000 besides the costs of treatment that he incurred. In this case, the ethical principle of justice and non-malfeasance apply since it was unethical for doctor Corl to impose the charges for tests even though they were not done. Additionally, Doctor Keith Corl contradicted the ethical principle of beneficence by suggesting the tests without priori critical examination of the patient’s condition.
Aitamaa, E., Suhonen, R., Puukka, P., & Leino-Kilpi, H. (2019). Ethical problems in nursing management–a cross-sectional survey about solving problems. BMC health services research, 19(1), 417.
Doctors strruggle as business of health care affects patients – The washington post. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/too-many-tests-too-little-time-doctors-say-they-face-moral-injury-because-of-a-business-model-that-interferes-with-patient-care/2020/01/31/c00e9d58-3d3a-11ea-8872-5df698785a4e_story.html
In the competitive and rapidly changing world of mass-media communications, media professionals—overcome by deadlines, bottom-line imperatives, and corporate interests—can easily lose sight of the ethical implications of their work. However, as entertainment law specialist Sherri Burr points out, “Because network television is an audiovisual medium that is piped free into ninety-nine percent of American homes, it is one of the most important vehicles for depicting cultural images to our population (Burr, 2001).” Considering the profound influence mass media like television have on cultural perceptions and attitudes, it is important for the creators of media content to grapple with ethical issues.
Stereotypes, Prescribed Roles, and Public Perception
The U.S. population is becoming increasingly diverse. According to U.S. Census statistics from 2010, 27.6 percent of the population identifies its race as non-White (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Yet in network television broadcasts, major publications, and other forms of mass media and entertainment, minorities are often either absent or presented as heavily stereotyped, two-dimensional characters. Rarely are minorities depicted as complex characters with the full range of human emotions, motivations, and behaviors. Meanwhile, the stereotyping of women, gays and lesbians, and individuals with disabilities in mass media has also been a source of concern.
The word stereotype originated in the printing industry as a method of making identical copies, and the practice of stereotyping people is much the same: a system of identically replicating an image of an “other.” As related in Chapter 8 “Movies” about D. W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation, a film that relied on racial stereotypes to portray Southern Whites as victims in the American Civil War, stereotypes—especially those disseminated through mass media—become a form of social control, shaping collective perceptions and individual identities. In American mass media, the White man is still shown as the standard: the central figure of TV narratives and the dominant perspective on everything from trends, to current events, to politics. White maleness becomes an invisible category because it gives the impression of being the norm (Hearne).
Minority Exclusion and Stereotypes
In the fall of 1999, when the major television networks released their schedules for the upcoming programming season, a startling trend became clear. Of the 26 newly released TV programs, none depicted an African American in a leading role, and even the secondary roles on these shows included almost no racial minorities. In response to this omission, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), an advocacy group for Hispanic Americans, organized protests and boycotts. Pressured—and embarrassed—into action, the executives from the major networks made a fast dash to add racial minorities to their prime-time shows, not only among actors, but also among producers, writers, and directors. Four of the networks—ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox—added a vice president of diversity position to help oversee the networks’ progress toward creating more diverse programming (Baynes, 2003).
Despite these changes and greater public attention regarding diversity issues, minority underrepresentation is still an issue in all areas of mass media. In fact, the trend in recent years has been regressive. In a recent study, the NAACP reported that the number of minority actors on network television has actually decreased, from 333 during the 2002–2003 season to 307 four years later (WWAY, 2009). Racial minorities are often absent, peripheral, or take on stereotyped roles in film, television, print media, advertising, and even in video games. Additionally, according to a 2002 study by the University of California, Los Angeles, the problem is not only a visible one, but also one that extends behind the scenes. The study found that minorities are even more underrepresented in creative and decision-making positions than they are on screen (Media Awareness Network, 2010). This lack of representation among producers, writers, and directors often directly affects the way minorities are portrayed in film and television, leading to racial stereotypes.
Though advocacy groups like the NCLR and the NAACP have often been at the forefront of protests against minority stereotypes in the media, experts are quick to point out that the issue is one everyone should be concerned about. As media ethicist Leonard M. Baynes argues, “Since we live in a relatively segregated country…broadcast television and its images and representations are very important because television can be the common meeting ground for all Americans.”1 There are clear correlations between mass media portrayals of minority groups and public perceptions. In 1999, after hundreds of complaints by African Americans that they were unable to get taxis to pick them up, the city of New York launched a crackdown, threatening to revoke the licenses of cab drivers who refused to stop for African American customers. When interviewed by reporters, many cab drivers blamed their actions on fears they would be robbed or asked to drive to dangerous neighborhoods.2