Monday, June 23, 2008

Ethical Dilemmas at work

The health care profession seems to be in a conflicting situation, if not an ethical dilemma. Companies in the health care profession often say in their mission statement that their mission is to provide health care, short and long term, to their patients and families. But as companies, they are in the business of business--making money. And in order to make money, they need a constant supply of unhealthy customers. They face an ethical bind: while wanting to promote health, they do not want complete health, else they'd be out of business (or in a significantly reduced state). Think analogously of the auto industry. If they make too efficient and reliable of an auto, people will not need to buy a newer one as often. Yet they want to provide the most reliable auto out there (or at least that is what they want to advertise). In the health care industry, an aim seems to be (or should be) to work themselves out of a job. Get people so healthy, and so much involved in their own personal health maintenance, that they do not need the health care industry.

So what do you think? What do you think a health care business should have as its mission statement? To work themselves out of a job?
Eric
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