Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper in which you discuss ethics in a health care organization (American Red Cross). Include the following:
Describe the organization selected.
What are the organization’s goals? How are they tied to its ethical principles? Describe the role and importance of the organization’s ethical values.
Is there a social responsibility for the organization in the community? Explain and provide examples.
Is it important that the organization’s ethical values support your ethical values? Explain.
Include at least 3 sources in your paper.
Ethics in American Red Cross
The American Red Cross was established in 1881 to provide care to individuals in need. The organization is mainly involved in providing disaster relief efforts. Another critical function of the organization is to facilitate communication between the military forces and their respective families especially in times of international disasters. For instance following periods of war, the organization focuses on providing crucial services to war veterans. These services range from nutrition education, safety training, providing guidance & counseling services, and home care services for the sick. The Red Cross coordinates a number of programs meant to public care. These programs cover the areas of public health nursing, first aid, and water safety (“American Red Cross,” 2016a). This paper focuses on analysis of ethics in relation to the American Red Cross.
The first goal of the American Red Cross is to create more awareness about role in disaster management. This is closely linked to the second goal which aims at increasing the knowledge about disaster preparedness and the need for health and safety initiatives. The first and second goal aim at capacity building. This is closely linked to its ethical principle of humanity which states that the organization’s core mandate is to help those who are suffering without any form of discrimination. The third goal involves popularizing the need for biomedical services in order to raise blood donor participation rates across the states. This is closely tied to the ethical principle of voluntary service where the organization stands to make no gains. This is why it creates awareness for the need to donate blood (“American Red Cross,” 2016b).
The fourth goal relates to the organization’s dedication to serve those in the armed forces. This goal is in line with the ethical principal of humanity which as earlier mentioned aims at providing assistance to the suffering without any form of discrimination. The fifth goal aims at increasing awareness regarding international programs and its involvement in these type of programs. This goal ties with the ethical principle of universality, which is about global service provision. The last organizational goal relates to the need to establish strong relations with key community partners. This may either be non-profit partners, blood regions, agency officials, and other partners (“American Red Cross,” 2016b). From the above, it is clear that the organizational goals of the American Red Cross underpin its ethical principles through a variety of ways. The organizational goals and ethical principles thus helps the organization in fulfilling its purpose in the society.
The American Red Cross’ ethical values are of great significance in guiding the conduct of employees. The ethical values prohibit personal use of the organization’s property without proper authorization. This policy ensures that employees do not put to personal use the properties they are entitled to use in their work. The organization’s ethical values guide employee conduct with regard to acceptance of gifts. The importance of this is that it ensures employees provide impartial services to the citizenry. The ethical value also defines what can be termed as acceptable gifts which employees may receive. A key ethical value used by the organization during international developments is the neutrality principle. This principle is importance since it prevents employees from taking sides in any form of racial, religious, or political antagonism. The organization’s ethical value of confidentiality prohibit employees from sharing any confidential information that they may have obtained during the course of their work (“American Red Cross,” 2010).
The retaliatory policy outlined by American Red Cross is also fundamental to the proper functioning of the organization (“American Red Cross,” 2010). This policy prohibits against retaliatory behavior to whistleblowers who may volunteer important information relating to the conduct of the organization or employees. The ethical value about record keeping ensures that employees keep accurate and true records which reflects the facts on the ground. Without this ethical value, the employees would most often be influenced by outside political forces to give inaccurate figures. The ethical values also prohibit employees from engaging in any form of activities that may lead to a conflict of interest with the policies of the organization or what it does. The organization’s ethical values are also key in guiding its relationship and the media. The ethical values mandates all employees to provide accurate information to the media. Lastly, the ethical values prohibits the employees from engaging in acts that may conflict with the organization’s best interest.
The American Red Cross has social corporate responsibility towards the community. The core mandate of the organization is to promote social welfare among disaster-stricken community members. The organization focuses its operations in three core area: health promotion, disaster management, and provision of humanitarian values. The organization operates as a not-for-profit organization, meaning it mainly depends on donor funds to fulfill its core mandate. With regard to corporate social responsibility, the organization has developed a number of community programs that alleviate the suffering of the members of the entire community (“American Red Cross,” 2010).
The American Red Cross provides shelter, food, and caters to emotional needs of disaster victims without discrimination (“American Red Cross,” (n.d)). For instance, during the devastating Hurricane Katrina, the organization provided food and shelter to victims, and among other type of support. The organization currently supplies over 40% of the national blood requirements. The organization manages this through coordinating efforts for donor awareness and actual donations throughout the states. During disasters, the organization serves as a major source of blood and also coordinates efforts which enables people to come forward and donate blood. The American Red Cross is involved in inculcating life-saving skills among people (“American Red Cross,” (n.d)). These often entail basic health and safety courses provide people with life-saving skills. The organization provides international humanitarian aid. For instance during the Haiti earthquake, the organization provided aid to victims. Social responsibility is also exhibited by the organization’s care to veterans and their families. For example during the Iraq War, the American Red Cross offered support to soldiers and their families.
The organization’s ethical values should reflect my personal values. Values are of great significance to individuals. The organization’s ethical values generally reflect the wider societal values. This means that the organization’s values should reflect the values of individual community members. By adhering to societal values, the organization is able to avoid unethical practices. Thus if my personal values are those which can be judged as right, then the organization should also adhere to these values.
American Red Cross. (2016a). History. Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/about-us/who- we-are/history
American Red Cross. (2016b). Public Policy Priorities. Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/about-us/governance/government-relations/public-policy
American Red Cross. (2010). American Red Cross code of business ethics and conduct. Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4240155_Red_Cross _Code_of_Business_Ethics_and_Contact.pdf
American Red Cross. (n.d). Taking, Teaching or Hosting a Class. Retrieved from: http://www.redcross.org/support/classes
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