Offering my time and vehicle for a service that I didn’t support proved to be a dilemma for me. I’ve given you four choices that I considered before I made my decision. Pick the option that best fits your ethical philosophy and see if you come to the same conclusion as I did. Leave a comment below if you have an/other idea/s!
Deciding whether or not to publicly support an important cause proved to be a dilemma for me. I’ve given you four choices that I considered before I made my decision. Pick the option that best fits your ethical philosophy and see if you come to the same conclusion as I did. Leave a comment below if you have an/other idea/s!
If I give a ride to this family, how do I choose who to give rides to and what reasons are justified for me to spend hours driving? By choosing not to give the ride, I neither condone nor condemn birthing in the hospital- I stay out of the conversation and disrupt the normal pattern of life as little as possible. I have more time for my research and I allow access to medical birthing to proceed as it would if I were not there. But is this really an ethical choice? How will I feel if something happens to the baby and I might have helped prevent it?
Choosing this option, I stay true to my personal beliefs that the members of the community should, as a general rule, continue to give birth in a safer environment which, in most cases, is the home. I am transparent with the community members by telling them why I am declining to give them a ride. But is doing the ‘right’ thing according to my belief system really the most ethical choice?
By choosing this option, I am able to give my friend and informant what he has asked for in terms of help but I still am able to express my opinion about what I think is a viable alternative. By leaving the ultimate decision up to him, I value his reasoning and remain humble in terms of expressing my opinion- as well as engaging in potentially beneficial reciprocity. But am I really choosing the most beneficial response for all concerned? What about my own ethical guide?
By choosing this option, I show humility and deference- simply facilitating the wishes of the family. I, in one sense, show that I am the impartial researcher, simply observing what is happening while still offering a little help in redressing the issues of access that are present. I please the members of the community by giving freely of my resources and seem supportive of their choices. Something just doesn’t seem quite right, however. Why do I feel like I should be doing more to stop this? Is this the most ethical choice?
By staying out of the event and remaining silent, I don’t need to worry about my views in being in the public eye. I can continue with my research without the possibility of being tagged as an activist. However, is my inaction really as inactive as I think? Is inaction ethical in this case?
By going on record and saying I don’t think this gathering is a good idea, I firmly place myself on one side of the debate. I surprise my friends who thought I shared their goal of promoting traditional land tenure but I effectively distance myself from activists and, in doing so, sever links that might hamper my ability to work in the country. But maybe this doesn’t feel like it was quite the right ethical decision?
Not attending the rally keeps the illusion of neutrality in one sense, even if I am honest and supportive with the community members that I’m working with. I run the risk of causing offense by declining the invitation to participate, but I am able to maintain my ‘outsider’ position as a researcher by not publicly showing close ties with this ‘hot topic.’ By creating this illusion, however, am I violating my own personal ethics, as well as those of being a transparent researcher?
By choosing to attend the rally, I stand firmly in solidarity with my friends and informants for a cause that I believe to be just. My presence makes me an advocate for indigenous land rights and this is a position that I am very comfortable with. But have I made the choice that will provide the most benefit for everyone involved? Did I inadvertently violate the value of beneficence in my selfish pursuit of justice?