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 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?

What about the values at risk here?

Respect for Persons
Beneficence
Justice
My Decision
Respect for persons:

Agreeing to support the wishes of the community, I respect their autonomy in decision-making and aid in their self-determination. I only offer what is asked for and do not assume that my opinions are relevant or beneficial.

By not providing my opinion, however, I might be depriving the community members of the ability to make a fully autonomous and informed choice instead of simply feeling uneasy about listening to the doctor. Speaking out might actually promote freedom of choice by making another option available and, by not doing so, I am limiting the community’s freedoms.

I also deny my personal autonomy by not sharing my informed opinion with my friends and informants in the community.

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Beneficence:
While they do receive the benefit of increased access to care they may want or need, I deny my informants the potential benefits of offering alternative information if I simply agree to drive them.

I, as a researcher, receive the benefit of pleasing the community by sharing my resources and upholding my value of reciprocity. I, however, may find myself in a potentially difficult situation if I am asked to give rides in the future and this interferes with my research agenda.

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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.

Withholding information about how there are alternatives to following the doctor’s orders may be seen as unjust. All people should have access to important information about their health.

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My Decision:
Well, you may have guessed that this was not my choice. In addition to my finding it hard to keep my opinion to myself in the best circumstances, it simply was not ethical to withhold powerful information and support in this circumstance. C-sections can be very harmful, as can long drives on poor roads, especially if they are not medically necessary. As a researcher and a friend, I cannot ignore that my opinion matters. My support for the safety and desirability of home births has great potential to foster pride and confidence in the value of traditional medical practices and indigenous ideas in general. Keeping this knowledge to myself might be seem as unethical as withholding the ride itself.

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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