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1. Ethics In Disaster Management

  • UN defines disaster as a serious disruption of the functioning of a community or a society causing widespread human, material, economic or environmental losses which exceed the ability of the affected community or society to cope using its own resources.

 

Disaster Management Ethics include

  • The Disaster ethics is a very broad field as it may range from individual to collective ethics and has to resolve both macro and micro perspective of the Disaster.

 

Pre-Disaster or Preventive phase:

  • It is moral responsibility of a government to develop capabilities to prevent/reduce the risk of disaster and develop a robust early warning mechanism. The other countries must also identify their roles and should reach out for help e.g. in disasters related to climate change or war etc.

  • Media should play a constructive role in identifying and highlighting the issues, so that people should be aware and get ready for the scenario in advance.

  • Industries and corporates should always opt for environmental impact assessment. Those involved in hazardous sectors should ensure safety of their workers as well as the surrounding population and ecosystem.

  • Scientific Communities must strive to innovate according to the demands of people and environment. Intelligentsia have a duty to keep the governments accountable and remind them about pending calamity.

  • National Governments: When prevention and deterrence fail to avert complex emergencies, the only moral response is a timely, rapid and effective intervention with assistance effort. If the authorities and relief workers act slowly, they may be late in saving lives and thus violate the principle of doing no harm.

  • International Community: In the area of human rights, it is not sufficient to be a neutral intermediary. When governments blatantly violate human rights or need additional help, the international community has a moral duty to intervene.

  • Respect of dignity: No community is utterly helpless, even in times of war and famine. Repeated use of these images has dulled the public to real suffering, while encouraging the public to view people as unable to solve their own problems.

  • Women are usually at greater risk from physical and sexual abuse during disasters. Assistance policies, however, often do not prioritize women’s welfare, largely because of a lack of gender awareness and commitment by agencies and relief officials.

  • Rescue workers: Threat to the lives of the relief workers also exist. This creates a dilemma of self-interest vs duty. A high level of devotion towards duty and a high emotional intelligence is required at that time.

  • According to the UNDP (1997), a disaster response should prevent future disasters and decrease vulnerability of the victims to avoid development of a dependency syndrome.

  • The only permanent and, therefore, ethically legitimate disaster relief strategy is one which helps victims to achieve their own long-term development. Therefore, the most ethical way to spend funds collected for Disaster response is through contracting services from the affected and neighboring communities only, so that their economy develops sooner.

 

Disaster or Early Response phase:

  • Ethical Dilemmas in Disaster Management:

  • Theoretically, there are three types of ethical dilemmas:

  • The first involves choices between options with conflicting merits and costs. This type of dilemma can be addressed through professional training.

  • The second form is centered on moral subjectivity reflecting such dilemmas as how to act when values of intended beneficiaries clash with those of humanitarian institutions. Such conflicts can be addressed through mechanisms of participation and empowerment.

  • The third dilemma type is where moral conflicts are perceived within a hierarchy of moral obligations. Humanitarian agencies may highlight the sanctity of life as the ultimate value superseding military and political interests, which often serve as excuses for inaction.

  • Victims: The right of an individual to receive equitable disaster relief and recovery aid that is culturally and gender-appropriate should be an inalienable right and not subject to negotiation. If there is a duty to bring relief aid to disaster survivors, then that duty must include non-discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, class, and political affiliation.

 

Role of Media in Disaster Management:

  • Media plays an important role in dissemination of information for both the general community and disaster victims. In addition, disasters covered by the media receive more attention.

  • Information helps survivors make informed decisions that are intrinsically related to their life arrangements and future well-being. Therefore, in disaster situations, Media must try to minimize misinformation, and must regulate news which can create mistrust and refusal of public relief measures. False reports by media such as opening of dam, lake outburst etc. during disaster creates panic among public as well as state administration.

  • Media interest in the disasters and people affected by disasters raises ethical issues on privacy and the principle of respect for autonomy. In the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief (1995), it is stated that in the information, publicity and advertising activities, the disaster victims should be recognized as dignified humans, and not as hopeless objects.

 

Post-Disaster or Rehabilitation phase:  

  • Conclusion

  • Disasters vary considerably with respect to their time, place and extent; therefore, ethical questions in these situations may not always have one-size-fits-all answers. On the other hand, embedding ethical values and principles in every aspect is of vital importance in disasters. Measures should be taken both at the local level as well as the country level. In conclusion, it is not only by making great efforts before disasters but also should have a positive attitude is necessary during disasters that ethical challenges can be minimized in disaster responses.

 

2. Environmental Ethics

  • Environmental ethics concerns human beings’ ethical relationship with the natural environment. It brings out the fact that all the life forms on Earth have the Right to live. By destroying nature, we are denying the life forms this right. This act is unjust and unethical. Respecting the existence of not just other humans but also the non-human entities, and recognizing their right to live is our primary duty. With environmental ethics, morality extends to the non-human world.

  • Some Ethical Dilemmas involved

  • Human Development or Environment

  • Development of Current generation or that of Future Generation

  • Quicker and easier way of development or Sustainable development

  • Human Rights or Non-human (animal, plants, rivers, air) Rights

  • Self centricism or Utilitarian

 

Issues in Environmental Ethics

  • Consumption of Natural Resources: Natural resources are limited and are crucial for survival of human beings. It concerns the rights of future generations to a clean and green environment.

  • Destruction of forests:

  • When industrial processes lead to destruction of resources, is it not the industry's responsibility to restore the depleted resources?

  • Can a restored environment make up for the original one? Who is responsible for the biodiversity loss?

  • Do animals and plants in the forests have rights? What would happen if animals, plants, and other species are destroyed? Should it affect us?

  • Is it right for us to be responsible for the extinction of certain species only for the sake of our consumption

 

Ethics behind Sustainable development:

  • Intergenerational equality: It states that it is our responsibility to handover a healthy, resourceful and safe environment to the future generations, by justified use of resources, reducing pollution, controlling population and maintaining an ecological balance

  • Intragenerational equality: An equality within and between the nations by such type of technological development which will support economic growth of the poor countries so as to reduce the wealth gap between the nations. It will also provide equal opportunity to use natural resources for all.

  • and greed?

  • Harm to Animals: The reduction in the populations of several other animal species continues as they serve food sources, animal testing etc. o How can we deny the animals their right to live? How are we right in depriving them of their habitat and food? Who gave us the right to harm them for our convenience?

  • Environmental Pollution: Environmental problems have a strong distributional dimension. For example, the negative effects of climate

  • How to maintain Environmental Ethics:

  • Equitable utilization of natural resources.

  • Equity among the people of rural and urban areas.

  • Conservation of resources for future generations.

  • Environmental rights of animals.

  • Environmental education.

  • Conservation of traditional value systems.

  • Prevention of unnecessary harm to animals

  • Prevention of eco-terrorism.

  • Use of eco-friendly items.

  • Keeping the environment neat and clean.

  • Environment Impact Assessment

  • Community participation in protecting environment.

  • change will fall disproportionately on the poor in current generations, and on future generations who are less responsible for greenhouse gas emissions as they accrue. o In spite of knowing that gasoline run vehicles lead to the destruction of natural resources, is it right for us to continue manufacturing and using them?

  • Are the guidelines which are drawn to protect the environment and nature any effective? What is causing their failure?

 

Ethical theories and Environment

  • Religion: Most religions encourage the ideas of protecting the environment or preserving nature. In some religions, certain plants or animals, rivers and mountains etc. are worshiped considering them as sacred or symbols of a particular deity. This shows that disrespecting the rights of animals and other non-human entities is against religious morality.

  • Anthropocentric Ethic: It is a part of utilitarian ethics. It claims that all the direct moral obligations we possess, including those we have with regard to the environment, are owed to our fellow human beings. The environmental concerns are only because of the way they affect human beings. For example, pollution diminishes health, resource depletion threatens standards of living, climate change puts human lives and livelihood at risk. Quite simply then, an anthropocentric ethic claims that we possess obligations to respect the environment for the sake of human well-being and prosperity.

  • The existing traditions of Environmental ethics are anthropocentric as it claims non-human 'nature/ecosystem' to have only "instrumental" value as a means to human well-being. 

  • Deep Ecology: According to this eco-philosphy, humans should broaden their idea of 'self' to include other life forms, it is about realizing ecological consciousness. It provides 8 basic Principles: o Intrinsic value of both human and non-human life on Earth.

  • Richness and diversity of life forms contribute to the realization of these values and are also values in themselves.

  • o Humans have no right to reduce this richness and diversity except to satisfy vital needs.

  • o The flourishing of all life and cultures is compatible with a substantially smaller population.

  • o Present human interference with the non-human world is excessive, and the situation is rapidly worsening.

  • o Policies must therefore be changed.

  • o The ideological change will be mainly that of appreciating life quality rather than adhering to an increasingly higher standard of living.

  • o Obligation directly or indirectly to try to implement the necessary changes.

  • Virtue Ethics: It includes a certain range of excellences of character that are constitutive of a good human life: integrity, sensitivity, courage, loyalty, good judgment, and so on. They determine how we relate to the non‑human world as well, for example, with sensitivity and compassion towards other sentient beings.

 

3. Sports Ethics

  • Other than bringing entertainment to the audience, sports teaches tolerance, rule of law, trust, self-control etc. to the sportsperson themselves, as well as those who are watching it. Players become role models for younger generations and hugely impact the society. Therefore, it becomes important that their conduct remains ethical.

  • Ethics in sports requires four key virtues: fairness, integrity, responsibility, and respect.

  • Fairness

  • Other prominent values involved in Sports

  • Justice and Equity

  • Commitment

  • Solidarity

  • Tolerance

  • Trust

  • Self-control and Discipline

  • Initiative and Participation

  • Cooperation

  • Group Decision

  • Democratic Spirit

  • Pursuit for excellence

  • Established rules should be followed by all.

  • Uneven playing field violates the integrity of the game.

  • There must not be any discrimination based on race, gender or sexual orientation.

  • Referees must not show personal interest in the outcome.

  • Respect

  • Athletes and Coaches should show respect for teammates, opponents, and officials.

  • Integrity

  • Athletes must not gain an advantage over his or her opponent by means of a skill that the game itself was not designed to test e.g. faking an injury in football. It undermines personal integrity, may hurt the credibility of referees and ultimately the integrity of the game.

  • Responsibility

  • Players and coaches should be responsible for their performances, actions on fields, and their emotions. They should also conduct themselves in an honourable way off the field as well.

  • Responsibility requires that they should be aware of rules and regulations governing the sports.  

 

Ethical Issues in Sports

  • 1. Fair Play

  • Equity and Impartiality are two important features of 'Fair play'. In sports, Fair Play means using only tactics that are in accordance with the spirit of the sport.

  • Some players use dubious but legal tactics such as distracting an opponent, or misrepresenting their own skill level in order to make opponents over or underestimate them to gain an extra advantage in their sport e.g. in wrestling or boxing. This practice is known as gamesmanship. They are considered by most as Ethical.

  • However, most sportsmen use some form of cheating in their games which on ethical terms violate the principle of Fair Play e.g. in Football to win a penalty, Diving (pretending to have been fouled) or Faking (exaggerating a mild injury) is done. Players caught faking can be suspended (Rivaldo in 2002 World cup). Similarly, Ball tampering (du Plessis in 2016) or Sledging in Cricket etc. are unethical practices.

  • 2. Level Playing Field

  • A 'level playing field' is a situation in which competitors are required to follow the same rules and are given an equal opportunity to compete. This means that no matter what the rules are, as long as they are applied equally and impartially, the playing field is still level. Issue of level playing field can be better understood by issue of using performance enhancing drugs. This brings out several ethical dimensions such as:

  • Winning: It's the taking part that counts, not the winning. Allowing drugs would focus more on winning, not taking part. Even for those who believe that winning is everything, it should not compromise ethical principles.

  • Discrimination: Poorer teams are already disadvantaged by other factors such as equipment, expertise and so on.

  • Health Risks: Many performance-enhancing drugs pose severe health risks. Even if athletes are willing and know the health risks, taking drugs amounts to harming oneself, or risking harm unnecessarily, and that is unethical.

  • Spirit of Sports: If the 'spirit of sport' includes the idea of hard work, taking drugs may be seen as a way of succeeding with less effort.

  • Wrong precedence: Amateur sports players would be encouraged to take drugs if professional athletes openly did it. As amateurs don't have medical support and advice, it could bring harm to them.

  • Impact on others: If drugs are allowed, drug advertising and sponsorship will presumably be allowed. This will influence the youngsters to use drugs.

  • Therefore, performance enhancing drugs should be banned because not only do they violate spirit of competition, they can potentially damage the health of those taking them, whether they are elite athletes who stand the risk of being detected using them, or the recreational sportsperson who is unlikely ever to be tested. They should be banned also because anyone using them is trying to gain an unfair advantage over those athletes who wish to maintain normal health.

  • 3. Other prominent ethical issues include - Match fixing and betting, exploitation by competitive parents and coaches, coaches having inappropriate relationships with players, salary being paid to sportspersons (whether being part of same team entitles them to equal pay), incentives given to sportspersons (govt. jobs being offered) etc.

  • Role of Sports Regulatory Bodies:

  • To publish clear guidelines on what is considered to be ethical or unethical behaviour.

  • To strictly implement the rules.

  • Ensure participation and involvement of all, along with providing level playing field.

  • To provide help and support to the media to promote good behaviour.

  • Role of Government

  • Support those organizations and individuals who have demonstrated sound ethical principles in their work with sport.

  • Encourage the education system to include the promotion of sport and fair play as a central part of the physical education curriculum.

  • Conclusion

  • Healthy competition is a means of cultivating personal honor, virtue and character. The goal in sportsmanship is not simply to win, but to pursue victory with honor by giving one’s best effort. The founder of Olympic games, Pierre de Coubertin rightly says that, 'The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not winning but taking

  • Industries and corporates should always opt for environmental impact assessment. Those involved in hazardous sectors should ensure safety of their workers as well as the surrounding population and ecosystem.

  • Scientific Communities must strive to innovate according to the demands of people and environment. Intelligentsia have a duty to keep the governments accountable and remind them about pending calamity.

  • National Governments: When prevention and deterrence fail to avert complex emergencies, the only moral response is a timely, rapid and effective intervention with assistance effort. If the authorities and relief workers act slowly, they may be late in saving lives and thus violate the principle of doing no harm.

  • International Community: In the area of human rights, it is not sufficient to be a neutral intermediary. When governments blatantly violate human rights or need additional help, the international community has a moral duty to intervene.

  • Respect of dignity: No community is utterly helpless, even in times of war and famine. Repeated use of these images has dulled the public to real suffering, while encouraging the public to view people as unable to solve their own problems.

  • Women are usually at greater risk from physical and sexual abuse during disasters. Assistance policies, however, often do not prioritize women’s welfare, largely because of a lack of gender awareness and commitment by agencies and relief officials.

  • Rescue workers: Threat to the lives of the relief workers also exist. This creates a dilemma of self-interest vs duty. A high level of devotion towards duty and a high emotional intelligence is required at that time.

  • According to the UNDP (1997), a disaster response should prevent future disasters and decrease vulnerability of the victims to avoid development of a dependency syndrome.

  • The only permanent and, therefore, ethically legitimate disaster relief strategy is one which helps victims to achieve their own long-term development. Therefore, the most ethical way to spend funds collected for Disaster response is through contracting services from the affected and neighboring communities only, so that their economy develops sooner.

  • Disaster or Early Response phase: Ethical Dilemmas in Disaster Management: Theoretically, there are three types of ethical dilemmas:

  • The first involves choices between options with conflicting merits and costs. This type of dilemma can be addressed through professional training.

  • The second form is centered on moral subjectivity reflecting such dilemmas as how to act when values of intended beneficiaries clash with those of humanitarian institutions. Such conflicts can be addressed through mechanisms of participation and empowerment.

  • The third dilemma type is where moral conflicts are perceived within a hierarchy of moral obligations. Humanitarian agencies may highlight the sanctity of life as the ultimate value superseding military and political interests, which often serve as excuses for inaction.

  • Victims: The right of an individual to receive equitable disaster relief and recovery aid that is culturally and gender-appropriate should be an inalienable right and not subject to negotiation. If there is a duty to bring relief aid to disaster survivors, then that duty must include non-discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, class, and political affiliation.

 

Role of Media in Disaster Management:

  • Media plays an important role in dissemination of information for both the general community and disaster victims. In addition, disasters covered by the media receive more attention.

  • Information helps survivors make informed decisions that are intrinsically related to their life arrangements and future well-being. Therefore, in disaster situations, Media must try to minimize misinformation, and must regulate news which can create mistrust and refusal of public relief measures. False reports by media such as opening of dam, lake outburst etc. during disaster creates panic among public as well as state administration.

  • Media interest in the disasters and people affected by disasters raises ethical issues on privacy and the principle of respect for autonomy. In the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief (1995), it is stated that in the information, publicity and advertising activities, the disaster victims should be recognized as dignified humans, and not as hopeless objects.

 

Post-Disaster or Rehabilitation phase:

  • Conclusion

  • Disasters vary considerably with respect to their time, place and extent; therefore, ethical questions in these situations may not always have one-size-fits-all answers. On the other hand, embedding ethical values and principles in every aspect is of vital importance in disasters. Measures should be taken both at the local level as well as the country level. In conclusion, it is not only by making great efforts before disasters but also should have a positive attitude is necessary during disasters that ethical challenges can be minimized in disaster responses.

 

August Ethical Issues

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