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Ethics Case Study – 22

Question category – Decision making, impartiality and non-partisanship, tolerance and compassion towards weaker section, emotional intelligence, dilemma

You are the DM of a hill district of an Indian state which has poor civil infrastructure. The Home Minister of the state has same place his constituency. Unfortunately there is a clash continuing between two group of laborers in a factory in the town on some unknown communal issues, but have not caused casualties yet. The state Home Secretary has instructed you to monitor the situation and prevent any miss-happening(s).

Around 9 pm in the evening it was raining heavily when you were informed that the minister had met an accident. The Home Secretary again asked you to facilitate things there. Coincidentally the time you reached hospital you see two brutally injured patients being pushed in simultaneously. You realized one as the minister. A police officer meanwhile briefed you that the other one was a laborer belonging to the minority community from the disputed site and had been brutally attacked around the same time the minister met the accident.

The team of doctors had started their emergency care. But then the superintendent of the hospital informed you of criticality of the two cases and said that both patients had casualties of same magnitude (clinically) and required immediate operations which for the hospital had an OT equipped minimally to carry one operation only. The town has no other private or govt. hospital to carry such critical operation. You contacted the officials in capital for a helicopter to fly the minister there but were informed that bad weather didn’t allow one. Roads in the rain will take 8 hours to reach the capital and adjacent district headquarters cannot be accessed by road till morning. The team of doctors is pushing you to take a decision between the two patients as who to be taken first for operation. Meanwhile, the hospital superintendent hinted you that the other may succumb to his injuries during the next 3 hours of operation.

Your choice is going to affect two lives. On one side is a VVIP and elected leader of masses, neglecting whom will create political, professional, social and personal upheaval. On the other is a poor laborer, lone bread earner of his large family. His death may lead to unwarranted situation of labor unrest and communal clash both.

You, the DM, belong to the same minority community to which belongs this dying laborer. You see the families of both the men. Women crying, children sobbing.

Assuming the above hypothesis true, propose an ideal approach as an administrator in the above case. (300 Words)

Provided by: Prasoon Kaushik