Thursday, November 12, 2009

Raising Problems Before Offering Solutions

Rosemary Flanigan
November 12, 2009

At the risk of being thought insane—or hopelessly naïve—I propose to you the following scenario: What if, PRE-healthcare reform activities in Congress, there had been a “softening up” series of discussions across the nation, through all sorts of media, to raise the problems BEFORE we started offering “solutions”?

That is the program I think we could do in Kansas City around the issues involved in pandemic preparedness. Missouri-wide, from a consortium of 4-5 ethics centers, a draft document has been prepared based on four fundamental ethical values: fairness, respect, solidarity, limiting harm.

If we were to get people to think about fairness (allocating healthcare resources fairly with a special concern for the most vulnerable), respect (each person must know that they will always be cared for and will be treated with dignity), in solidarity (each individual must consider the needs of others, not just family and loved ones but also to the community), and limiting harm (acknowledging that healthcare professionals will do as much good as possible while limiting harm resulting from the scarcity of resources), then we might have some reasonable discourse.

I know no better way to encourage such thinking than with small groups of people wrestling with broad moral values. THEN, begin to get specific.

ANY EXPERIENCE with this sort of thing in your part of the world????



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