In each week, you will have the opportunity to explore an ethical theory—consequential ethics, utilitarian ethics, deontological ethics, and nonconsequential ethics—in the context of a case scenario from your textbook. In this week, the focus will be on utilitarian ethics. Remember from your lectures last week that utilitarian ethics is a result-based theory that says the moral worth of an action is determined solely by its ability to maximize happiness or pleasure for all.
Review the following case:
Daniel was the last of the five interviewees for the CEO’s position at Anytown Medical Center. During the interview, a member of the finance committee asked, “Daniel, how would you maximize an allocation of $100,000 to spend for improving patient care, besides the capital budget and construction projects?” Bishop Paul, the board chairman, added, “Daniel, think about the question. I will give you five minutes to form an answer.” Daniel responded, “Bishop Paul, I am ready to answer your question.” The trustees looked somewhat surprised, as Bishop Paul with a smile quickly responded, “You may proceed with your answer.” Daniel replied, “An old Chinese proverb came to my mind as quickly as the question was asked: ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ You are interviewing me as the CEO of your hospital. I see my job is to assure you that employees are thoroughly trained to care for the patients whom the hospital serves. I will maximize the value of each and every dollar by determining the skill sets that the staff is lacking and retrain the staff in the areas where deficiencies are noted.”
Bishop Paul looked around the long oval table at the trustees, “This has been a long day and a grueling interview process for Daniel. Are there any other questions you would like to ask him?” There was silence, as the trustees nodded their heads no. Bishop Paul looked at Daniel and thanked him for his interest in becoming the hospital’s next CEO. Bishop Paul smiled and turned his swivel chair around as Daniel was walking toward the exit and asked, “Daniel, could you not leave the building just yet. If you could just wait outside the room and have a seat in the doctors’ lounge area.” After about twenty minutes, a trustee went into the lounge where Daniel was sitting and asked him to return to the boardroom. As he entered the room, Bishop Paul stood up and looked at Daniel straight in his eyes and said, “Daniel, you were the last to be interviewed because you were on the “short list” of candidates selected to be interviewed.
Speaking for the board, your response to the last question was merely icing on the cake, confirming our interest in you joining our staff. Both the Board of Trustees and members of the Medical Executive Committee unanimously have recommended you as our CEO, with which I unconditionally concur. “Welcome to Anytown Hospital.” The trustees stood and clapped their hands. The bishop turned to the trustees and said, “Wow, that’s a first!”
In a 2- to 3-page document, complete the following tasks:
- Summarize the main tenets of utilitarian theory of ethics and discuss how Daniel’s response to the trustee’s question of how he would spend the $100,000 fits the utilitarian theory of ethics.
- Assess whether other theories of ethics also apply here and provide a comparison and justification for at least one other theory—consequential, deontological, or nonconsequential.
- Discuss if Daniel, metaphorically speaking, succeeded in maximizing happiness in the eyes of the board.
To support your work, use your course and textbook readings and also use the South University Online Library. As in all assignments, cite your sources in your work and provide references for the citations in APA format.