Learning Log – Week Fifteen on Ethical Dilemmas

Week 15 already!! Gosh these weeks are going by so fast, so today we looked into Ethical dilemmas. So what is Ethics? Ethics is like our moral compass, we use it everyday of our lives, it affects how we make our decisions and effectively lead our lives. In simpler terms, we break it down into what’s we think is right or wrong and how we go about them. So today, it began with Sandra’s bundle of papers waiting to be passed around. We were randomly given a bunch of odd and heart wrenching scenarios and in pairs we discussed them.

What we would do?

What choices we would make?

Why we made those choices?

After going through these scenarios in our pairs some of us decided to share ours with the group. The first scenario we were introduced to was about a paramedic, who is called to the scene of a horrific crash, only to find when he arrives at the scene, his wife, who is involved in the accident, with her other lover… So not only is his wife in a critical state and may possibly die, she’s also a cheat. His wife’s condition is critical and she’s not predicted to last long however her lovers condition isn’t as bad and he could be saved. So what does he do and who does he save? Do you follow your head and go by what’s morally right, following the correct procedures when dealing with these situations, I mean, they happen, you’re trained for these things but would you be able to set aside your personal feelings??

And if you ended up loosing your wife, could you live with the burden of knowing that you didn’t do all that you could have to save her?

And if you lost her lover, could you live with the burden of choosing your wife’s life over another human beings??

And if you answered yes, you could live with that burden, then are you not as much responsible for his death as much as the car that actually hit him??

Could you not see how this could be seen as unprofessional conduct due to you having an emotional attachment to one of the victims??

And therefore could be seen as premeditated murder as you didn’t offer him the medical assistance that he needed in order to survive? It could be seen as “motive” after all he was seeing your misses…but now I’m just rambling.

That was just one of the scenarios, awful, I know… however after listening to students answers and there reasons it became more complicated and messy. Now with the majority of the scenarios that were read, involving life and death at the hand of another human being and ultimately being our decisions, what was running through my mind was

How can you make that call?

How can you then justify your reasons for doing so?

How could you live with yourself afterwards?

Me and Giulia had our own scenario which was called “The Runaway Trolley”. In this scene, a trolley is out of control and is about to hit a group of five workmen. Above the workmen, is a footbridge where our character Molly is walking past a passing stranger. Molly can either push the stranger over the side of the footbridge and that will stop the trolley from hitting the five workmen, however he will die, or leave the trolley on its murderous rampage and let it hit the workmen who will die from the impact. To push or not to push? That is the question. Now, tired of such a MORBID subject and not wanting anymore people to die. Giulia and myself decided to make Molly a superhero, yes, a SUPERHERO. Who has superhuman strength and abilities and she’s also super fast. Molly is able to get underneath the footbridge just in time to stop the trolley with her green plazmo field and everyone is ALIVE and continues about their day happily and I mean HAPPILY.

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That’s enough horrible scenarios for one day thank you Tom & Sandra!

But on a serious note, what did I actually learn from today? Today I learnt that the world is very very small and it’s sad to think that these horrible scenarios have most likely taken place somewhere in the world and people make these ethical decisions daily.

No decision that was made today was an easy one and although it may sit right in your moral compass doesn’t mean to say everyone agrees with you.

At times, you may have to set aside your feelings and do what’s morally right even if it’s against your better judgement. For example in a television programme I watched called Elementary (the American version of Sherlock Holmes – which is awesome) Holmes and Watson are on the hunt for a serial killer which they believe they had caught YEARS ago and whose already dead, however the killings have re-appeared again so did they catch the wrong killer? The killer who was previously convicted (and is dead already) at the time of his crime was taken into the ER and was in critical condition, the paramedics recognised him as the serial killer and the doctor who was attending to him, contemplated allowing him to die because he was a monster. Now was the doctor allowing his personal feelings to cloud his judgement?? Does it make it ok for the doctor to take the life of that man because he has taken the lives of many?? Does that make the doctor any better then he is??

Moving onto a happier subject and a nicer way to end the lesson, today was the last day with our peer mentors, so people from our class brought in food and the peer mentors came along, we gave them our feedback and played a few games. It’s was a nice way to say thanks for helping us!! We’ve appreciated your support over the past few weeks!! As the peer mentors have been with us from the beginning, they were there to help us with any work /work related questions we had as well as support us. I feel peer mentoring is a good idea and should definitely be continued. It was nice to meet some of the second years and ask about their previous projects, what they did, what they liked, what they didn’t like. It was lovely to see such diversity in ideas and how the module has changed from when they were in our shoes. I’m interested in becoming a peer mentor next year if that option is still available, I feel that a lot of good can come from it and people can really benefit from it. That’s something that I will consider if given the option next year. I’ve decided to include some of the photos from today in this post so please see below 😊. I hope you liked this post!! Sorry for it being so depressing!! Thanks for reading!!

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