Ethical Reasoning at Work Case Study by Lane

Ethical Reasoning at Work
A case study looking at questions of ethical reasoning, decision making and the struggles when faced with a crisis.
# 105345 | 3,033 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2008 | US
Published by on Jul 06, 2008 in Business (Human Resources) , Philosophy (Ethics) , Sociology (General) , Ethics (General)

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In this case study, the writer explores the ethical questions and issues that can arise in a crisis. This paper focuses on the catastrophic disaster, Hurrican Katrina, and describes an ethical dilemma faced by a nurse working at a hospital in New Orleans. The paper questions whether, in crisis mode, is the responsibility to the individual, or to those we serve? The writer of this explores the questions associated with this catastrophic disaster case study.

Ethical Dilemma in the Work Place
Questions Associated with the Case Study
Root of Problems
Symptoms of Problems
Unresolved Issues
Roles of Key Players
Ethical Issues Involved
Alternatives to the Situation
Recommendation for Resolution

From the Paper:

"The lack of personal and professional reasoning was apparent to those involved due to the lack of leadership and organization during such a life changing event. With no real disaster plan in place, those involved were left with life altering decisions minute to minute. The decisions made during this crisis were the most honest, and that could have been expected by the front line workers. The nurses and victims had no real direction and took into their hands the wrath of Mother Nature at her worst and attempted to pull from their moral and ethical being what the next course of action should be, and attacked the crisis one individual at a time. The struggle of personal decision and organizational responsibility was forefront. As these individuals were faced with the dilemma of assisting whom ever they could, the thought of their loved ones at home lingered. As the hours passed the nurses and other health care workers had to wonder if there family members had weathered the storm. Many of them wanted to leave to get to their families, torn by duty and obligation. The nurses faced with the question of attempting to flee the hospitals or remaining on duty was a struggle and an emotional hardship. Many knew they could not leave their patients and the stories off these heroes have been heard. Others could not grasp such disarray and remained but could not function completely. The nurses gave all they could to a situation which was an ill prepared for catastrophe. Their decisions were emotional, from the heart, from the gut and most of all true to their ethical and moral beings; this is truly all these individuals had to fall back on during this time."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Disaster Ethics, Health Care and Nursing: A Model Case Study Facilitate the Decision Making Process (2006, January 30, 2006). Disaster Ethics, Health Care and Nursing: A Model Case Study to Facilitate the Decision Making Process. Retrieved May 20, 2008, from
  • American Nurses Association (2001). Code of Ethics for nurses with interpretative statements. Retrieved May 31, 2008, from
  • Powell, Y., M., Baker, R. J. & Hogan, G., J. (2006). Disaster ethics, health care and nursing: A model case study to facilitate the decision making process. Retrieved May 20, 2008, from

Cite this Case Study:

APA Format

Ethical Reasoning at Work (2008, July 06) Retrieved April 23, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Reasoning at Work" 06 July 2008. Web. 23 April. 2024. <>