Agree, but explain that they are in a position to disagree with the doctor’s recommendation

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?

What about the values at risk here?

Respect for Persons
Beneficence
Justice
My Decision
Respect for persons:

By agreeing to drive, I am supporting the autonomy of the community members and respecting the decision to engage with the doctors in a biomedical intervention. If the choice to go to the hospital is made freely, ethically, I should support it, regardless of what I think myself.

However, if my friends in the community have been convinced by the doctor to take on unnecessary travel and medical expenses, helping them might actually not be supporting their self-determination. Instead, it may be supporting their lessening autonomy in the birth process and their increased surveillance by biomedical practitioners. Hopefully, my discussion with them will address this violation and provide them with information and support to challenge their doctor should they choose to do so.

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Beneficence:
This choice has many potential benefits for the family, who is the most vulnerable in this situation. First, my speaking with them gives them another option for thinking about what is best for them. Also, knowing that they have my support in this way, and in the practical sense of providing the vehicle, may provide a beneficial piece of mind. It is unknown if this option would provide benefits to mom and baby ultimately, but it has potential to do so. However, it could also cause harm if the drive and/or hospital stay goes less than smoothly.

This choice benefits me as a researcher in that I am able to agree to provide a service for a family that has assisted me greatly with my research. I will likely be considered to be generous and kind. Personally, I benefit through being able to share my opinion.

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Justice:
Providing autonomy and access to this family may be seen as upholding justice. It is just for every mother, regardless of location or socio-economic status, to be given equal opportunities to receive whatever care they choose. Providing the ride upholds this ethical principle.

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My Decision:
This was the option I chose. I wanted to be sure that my friends and informants knew that they could question the doctor’s opinion and make other choices- and I hoped that they would. I did, however, agree to uphold their wishes and help them go to the hospital if that was what they wanted or needed to do. I was able to voice my opinion and try to share the benefits of it without compromising their autonomy or access. As it turns out, the baby made this whole dilemma moot! He came after less than an hour of mild labor. Mom barely had time to get home from her friend’s house before he arrived- happy and healthy at home. His arrival in this way was a relief to everyone!

What would you do?

Agree, with no further discussion or interference

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 ...

Defend this Choice!

Agree, but explain that they are in a position to disagree with the doctor’s recommendation

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 ...

Defend this Choice!

Decline, saying you object to them going to the hospital

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 ...

Defend this Choice!

Decline, saying you don’t ever give rides to anyone

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 ...

Defend this Choice!

Posted in Bringing Babies to Biomedicine

What do you think?

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