Center for Practical Bioethics
Sandy bears down on the Atlantic coast as millions or residents and civic
leaders brace for damage to life and property.
Many decisions will be made in coming days, decisions that are ethical
in nature but may not be stated as so.
· An infringement on individual
liberties: many Americans may find fault with the notion, regardless of
societal goals of peace and order, but most of us agree that the “greater good”
is a desirable goal when sufficient threat exists. One of those times is when
the lives of a large number of our people are at risk based on a careful
assessment by public officials. One of
those times is now.
· The duty of the citizenry is to
think bigger than oneself. The duty of public officials is to protect our
collective interests. It is their purview to determine if this is an emergency,
a disaster or a catastrophe. There are big differences between each of those,
and they require escalating attention by the public and our commitment to
perform our obligations as good citizen.
· It is our not our job to assess
or determine the scope or extent of the impending calamity. It is our job, at
this time, to comply with the requests or demands, so that the greater good can
We need not
repeat the mistakes of Katrina. We need to cooperate and make sure that our
participation in the civic good, benefits as much as possible, all those in
Labels: hurricane sandy; disaster ethics