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 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?

What about the values at risk here?

Respect for Persons
Beneficence
Justice
My Decision
Respect for persons:

By not giving a ride, I disrespect my informants’ decision to follow their doctor’s suggestion, not only denying assistance but also denying their right to make the best choice they can make for them. I also deny access to my resources, violating the respect for my informants that come with my value of reciprocity. They have shared their resources on multiple occasions- it seems unfair for me to deny mine when they are requested.

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Beneficence:
The potential to cause harm with this decision is great. By disagreeing, I potentially cause harm to the mother and baby by not assisting in their medical care needs. I also potentially

However, I can argue that not interfering might actual save the mother and baby from the potential harm of undergoing a medically-unnecessary procedure. They might actually benefit from having to stay home and not have to undergo the long and arduous journey to the hospital. The traditional attendants have been present at the first 6 of the mother’s births and she has had no problems.

Benefits to me personally are that I uphold my values of minimal biomedical interference and support for women trusting their bodies and traditional birthing systems.

In terms of my position as a researcher, benefits are possible, as are potential harms. If the baby is born healthy at home, the project has avoided becoming too involved in personal decisions and open to potentially difficult decisions about which family to help. Alternatively, if there are problems with the birth, the project may be harmed by seeing unwilling to help community members in need and not providing reciprocity for the cooperation of the community in the research process.

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Justice:
This decision is just in that it does not favor one family over another. If I cannot drive each family where they need to go, it seems best that nobody are able to drive.

The decision violates the value of justice in that it may potentially put a vulnerable person in further jeopardy by denying access to medical care.

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My Decision:
Although providing transportation for any reason becomes difficult, I did not choose this option in this case. The violation of my value of reciprocity and the exclusion of access that is so evident in vulnerable populations made this an unattractive choice for me.

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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