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Response – Euthanasia and Employee Insubordination

Response – Euthanasia and Employee Insubordination

Every organization has policies that need to be followed by every staff member, with no exception. Policies are there to govern how an organization is run. Prior to signing an employment contract, a potential staff member is made aware of his/her duties and whom to report to. Upon formally gaining employment in an organization, every new employee is given the policies, rules, and regulations to read. Once a new employee reads these documents, they often sign the same to indicate that they have read and agreed to abide by them throughout their working duration in an organization.

The rules and regulations also spell out the consequences for failure to adhere to or abide by any of the written contractual terms. Most times, breaking one of the rules or regulations results in an employee getting a warning letter or being summoned to the hospital committee when the offense is deemed serious. When the employee persists in breaking the rules, then he/she can be summarily dismissed from their work duties (Chullen et al., 2010).

In this case study, the staff members have refused to work under the physician based on their personal beliefs regarding the physician’s actions. When they were signing the work contract, there was no exemption for insubordination based on a subordinate’s beliefs. That said, the staff should be punished for their actions because they have breached the terms of their working contract. Additionally, punishing them will deter any such future behavior by the staff and even by other staff members who may be tempted to follow the same path of insubordination (Plump, 2010).

Looking at the situation from a Christian perspective will require that I base my decision on biblical teachings. The first is the teaching by Jesus, who said that we should give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God. My interpretation of these teachings is that Jesus was telling those He was speaking to and, by extension, any Christ follower that while we are living here on earth, we should live by the laws that govern the earth. It also means that we should also live by Godly laws without breaking Caesar’s laws. That is why Jesus began by saying that we first give to Caesar and then to God. This means that when we willingly choose to commit to doing something under specific terms that we are fully aware of, we should not falter. When a person reads and understands the rules and regulations of a contract and goes ahead to sign the same, he/she should then abide by ‘Caesar’s’ rules or be ready to face ‘Cesar’s’ wrath.

Another guiding biblical verse would be that of Ephesians 6:5, where Paul tells the believers to be obedient to their masters here on earth. We are not yet in heaven, and therefore, while living on earth, we need to obey our masters. Our obedience to Jesus, our ultimate master, should not contradict our obedience to our earthly masters or vice versa. If we are to follow a chain of reasoning, God gave the staff members and the physicians the intelligence and knowledge far so much so to the level they are in their careers. He knew that this group of people was capable of caring for the sick, and he gave them the compassion to empathize and care for their patients and a strong heart to make tough decisions when needed. When a patient dies, it means his/her brain no longer can function as it should. The NICU patients are technically dead, which means God has deemed, in His perfect will, to stop their brains from working. So, pulling the plug out is only an acceptance of what God has already willed. Additionally, as you have included in your post, “Life-support with any sustaining services can be withdrawn if it is not providing improvement to the patient over a period of time according to the physician’s discretion” (Shaw, 2007). Refusing to accept His will and going further to insubordination to one’s boss is a failure to pay to Caesar and to God.

References

Chullen, C. L., Dunford, B. B., Angermeier, I., Boss, R. W., & Boss, A. D. (2010). Minimizing deviant behavior in healthcare organizations: The effects of supportive leadership and job design. Journal of Healthcare Management55(6), 381-397.

Plump, C. M. (2010). Dealing with problem employees: A legal guide for employers. Business Horizons53(6), 607-618.

Shaw, D. (2007). The body as unwarranted life support: A new perspective on euthanasia. Journal of Medical Ethics,33(9), 519-521. https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2006.020073

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Question 


Response - Euthanasia and Employee Insubordination

Response – Euthanasia and Employee Insubordination

Even though in all technical terms, this is a form of euthanasia on the lowest terms possible simply because the patient was already brain-dead. “Life-support with any sustaining services can be withdrawn if it is a not providing improvement to the patient over a period of time according to the physician’s discretion” (Shaw, 2007). In this particular case, the physician was thinking from a medical perspective, and the nurses were thinking from a personal, more emotional level. If you look at this from a biblical standpoint, they stating the soul and the body were alive even though the patient was brain-dead. They felt that they could not support the doctor in this matter. They may have had religious beliefs denying the treatment to this patient with regards to the order in which the physician is requiring them to do. If they felt that the patient should die naturally and God should be the one to take their soul and not a doctor, how can you blame them for not wanting to participate in this activity? Even though they don’t understand that shutting off the machine has no effect on God taking this person’s soul because he decides when we pass on, not a doctor or machine. “God will take our soul from death and bring it to himself” (Psalm 49:15, NIV). We need to understand that God always has control. It is not us who make these decisions. If we look at this from a different perspective, we may understand these for staff members a little better. If they are provided some education and training with regard to how to deal with this situation the next time it is to occur, they will be able to handle their beliefs in a different way. Do you think punishing the staff members for their actions will change their opinions or views when the situation arises again? How would you handle this situation from a Christian perspective?

References

Shaw, D. (2007). The body as unwarranted life support: A new perspective on euthanasia. Journal of Medical Ethics,33(9), 519-521. https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2006.020073

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