Ethic of Care is a theory of how we care for other people around us. It prompts us of the value of human relationship. Ethic of Care theory places moral value on communities as well as persons and asserts that one action take place in the context relationship. Our decisions should consider existing relationships and often carry out via social action. However, Ethic of Care does not support a dependency relationship between people but it is about maintaining a relationship of mutuality. Ethic of Care declares that by interacting with a community can be considered vulnerable. We should maintain a relationship of mutual opportunity and benefits, as well as consider the implications of our decision and if they have the potential to be harmful to the community. We should try to do the right thing to others people, live the morally correct life, and honest to people around us. We have to live honest to ourselves, so we can be truly caring for someone or something. Caring is a response to the variety of features of moral situations: need, harm, past promises, role relationships.
There are also four main ideas in an ethic of care: moral attention, sympathetic understanding, relationship awareness, and harmony and accommodation. Moral attention is the attention to the situation in all its complexity. We need to understand all the faces of the situation to make our decision. For example, Doug decisions in our lecture. He thinks for Susan, but he does not care for her situation when he asks her to send her to visit the client. Of course, her father wants her to go, but if Doug thinks for Susan and her family situation, he will not do that. He does not have enough moral attention to Susan’s situation. Moreover, Doug is not open to sympathizing and even identifying with Susan in the situation. What it would most likely best interests for her and meet her needs. Related to the notion of her relationship awareness is accommodation. As a result, we should meet all of these four main ideas in an ethic of care to be support for people around us. Case Study: Parable of the Sadhu
Bowen McCoy’s “Parable of the Sadhu” is the story of McCoy’s journey on walking halfway through his 60 day trip all the way through the Himalayan Mountains. McCoy and Stephen, his friend along the journey, found the Sadhu, who the Indian holy man is naked, barefoot and almost near dead from hypothermia and tiredness above 15,500 while on one of the most difficult peak climbs of their whole trip. Climbing the mountain in the surrounding area of McCoy and Stephen, there were three other climbing parties from New Zealand, Switzerland, and Japan try to provide some helps to the Sadhu.
They were left the Sadhu behind with clothing, food and drink more than two day journeys from the nearest village after that. The climbing parties were making their decision to continue on their goal; the destiny of the Sadhu was left unidentified. Both Stephen and McCoy were never found out that if Sadhu live or die. McCoy’s dilemma is restrained on retroflection that he should have done what he did for Sadhu as provide some assistance and then keep climbing to complete his goal, or he should have done more for Sadhu. As McCoy suggests, “Real moral dilemmas are ambiguous, and many of us hike right through them, unaware they exist.” (Page 95) * Application of the case study to Ethic of Care theory
I think that all Sadhu team members should stop their entire plan and help him first. His life is maybe in danger. Even when we see a sick deer or dog, we still stop and help them. I understand that the Himalayas had their wettest spring in 20 years. I also understand that their last trip may be ruined. However, they should think that if Sadhu die because of them, will direct of their life be happy? They, on the other hand, can help Sadhu getting better; they all can finish their entire plan together. They should not ignore about him. He may try to do something appear to be abnormal, but he is still a person and friend.
They should help him when he needs them. Even other people does not know him as Swiss, Japanese, or Shepas, they are still willing to help him. Besides, Sadhu team needs a team leader to guide them what they should do. They do not care about Sadhu life is in danger. According to ethic of Care theory, their decision should care about human value relationship. If just this, it is not enough. They also need to have moral attention and sympathetic understanding of Sadhu’s situation. He needs help from his team members, but they try to harm it. They rather keep their goal finish, than caring for their dying friend. This is unethical of Care theory. Case study: Ford Pinto
The Ford Pinto first produced in 1970. They were rushed to produce it when the normal time to produce an automobile is 43 months, but Ford took only 25 months for the Pinto. Before these cars were production, Ford engineers found out flaws in the car’s design. The issue was found that the gas tank was designed to rupture to cause a fire and explosion even an impact only 20 MPH or greater. It was only five inches forward of the rear sheet metal of the body and only three inches from the rear axle 1. In most rear end crashes, the pin housing distorted the gas tank and sharp bolts punctured the tank. After the crash tests for Pinto, the conclusion was the rear end structure was not satisfactory. If Ford needs to change this, it would be cost them about $11 per car.
Ford was fully aware of the problems. When engineers found this defect, top managers of Ford decided to produce the car. Ford’s dilemma is: they should product the Pinto anyway because their benefit is more than an estimate of person got killed in an auto accident, or they should stop to produce it and wait until the problem was solved. The Ford’s management decided to stick with the original design and produced Ford Pint. Application of the case study to Ethic of Care theory * Application of the case study to Ethic of Care theory
Ford decision to produce a year early for their Pinto over the safety of consumers. This is immoral decision. I do not want to mention about how much profit they can make to produce Pinto a year early. Nothing can be calculated over human life. If their kids stuck and got burn to death in the car because of unsafely car, are they still let Pinto coming out early? This is just one of the examples. I believe that there are many more cases than this. It is wrong for business to sell a product that is not as safe as it could be. Why do they not just wait until solve the entire problem? Why do they not just calculate human life over their profit? Why should they think of consumers’ family have to suffer of their family member as well? There are a lot more questions I think Ford should discuss before they sent their produce to consumers. If they apply the case to Ethic of Care theory, they should not care only for their customers, but they also need to care for customer families as well. They should care for the loyalty of the customer on Ford. They lost their promise with their customer. This is unethical way for them to do business. Case Study: Housing Allowance
The housing allowance is about Wilson Mutambara, who a native Rambian and employed of an American cellular telephone service NewCom, but they sent him back to work for other brand of the company in Rambia. In this case Wilson Mutambara, the employee, received a housing allowance of $2000 per month for the expense purpose of insuring that he lives in a manner that reflects positively on the company. NewCom provides this allowance to their employee because they want their employee live in a safe and convenient area. Moreover, it is also complimentary to company image. Mutambara, however, choose to use the $2000 for other purposes. He only pays rent around $300 for each month. According to him, the other left over money he uses to help his eight nieces and nephew paying for their school fees. He, however, kept sending the $2000 statement every month to his company, so he could continue to receive it until Dale Garman, one of his coworker, found out about this. Then, Dale had to report this to Barbara Weston, who Wilson’s supervisor is. * Application of the case study to Ethic of Care theory
First of all, the moral attention can apply to Wilson’s situation. NewCom should predict or at least understand for his situation. If they try to think for him, he cannot live in the fancy house when his relative live in Old Town area. If NewCom or his supervisor cares for their employee more, they should give him same amount allowance as others co-workers receiving it. Moreover, NewCom should awareness of the relationship between them and their employee, the relationship between their employee and their family, or the relationship between their employee and other relationship with him. If they can aware of these relationships, they can predict why Wilson may need to do something like this. Wilson Mutambara, however, acted wrong; and, he should not lie to his company.
There should be a reason why company pays him that much every month for expense. NewCom want safety and comfortable living for their employee when they have to work oversea. They want their employee to spend of their focus on their job. Barbara should report this to the company about Wilson’s situation. She should not become another employee lie to NewCom. I think NewCom should just give him the warning not terminate him for falsified his housing receipt. NewCom should give him another chance to show their care to their employee’s situation. Barbara can give a private talk to Mutambara to explain and make sure he understand what he had done to NewCom is unethical. Case Study: One Nation under Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart is one of the largest stores in retail in the world and America. They have about 138 million loyalty customers to visit 4,750 of their supercenter weekly. There is about 82 percent of the households purchase an item from Wal-Mart yearly. Wal-Mart is also behind the importation of 10 percent of all goods from China to United States. Wal-Mart, however, is one of workplace that workers remain uninsured and underinsured. Wal-Mart is antiunion and their employees wage lower than other those of unionized supermarket. Moreover, 46 percent of their 1.33 million workers are uninsured or on Medicaid. They are expanding it fast, so some of small local businesses have to going out of their businesses. * Application of the case study to Ethic of Care theory
I think Wal-Mart is immoral in doing business. First of all, Wal-Mart does not want to join the union. It is not issue because they have the right to do so. I, however, wonder why they do not want to join the union. Is it anything they are doing wrong in their business? They also try not to give the maximum benefit especially the health insurance for their employee. Their employees have to work hard because Wal-Mart stores are always extremely busy. Secondly, Wal-Mart is growing rapidly and expands all over the US. As a result, there will be have a lot of people work for them, but they will not receive a benefit most of the people all over the world wish to come here and work. Wal-Mart’s employees get treated as individuals somewhere in Asia.
They have to work hard, but they do not get the benefit they should have in the US. Wal-Mart should listen to all voices of people when they do business, such as, their employee or local people from area near their supercenter. They should pay their moral attention more to their employee than just try to make a profit for their business. Their employees are people helping them to make money for Wal-Mart. Why do they want their 44 percent employees to quit their jobs every year? Why do they want to spend time and money to hire and train 44 percent of new employees every year? If they put this on calculation, it would not be an excellent idea to arrange for a large company. Moreover, Wal-Mart should pay attention on their relationship with the local community. Case Study: Blood for sale
Sol Levin, founder of Plasma International, has a business like any other business in the world. His company is quite different from other; he is buying and selling human blood. Plasma international purchased blood from a poor country as South African people for fifteen cents per pint. Then, they sold it for up to twenty five dollars in the United States. There are few cases of hepatitis found in recipients. Blood can be bought and sold here in America, but it does not occur in The United Kingdom. Economist Richard Titmuss showed that the United Kingdom model makes more realistic meaning of the relationship between human. People have a better sense of love and care. Another issue in the United States is organ sales especially Kidney. There is five people need kidney to one kidney available. As a result, the poor people try to sell their kidney for rich people. Moreover, if the poor people need the kidney, they would not have a chance to get it. * Application of the case study to Ethic of Care theory
Blood is something should not sell or buy. When we want to give one blood to someone, it means we care for that person. We want to help that person life. If we have some company as Plasma International to buy and sell human blood, it will make other people do not want to give their blood for free anymore. Why do they give it for free when they can sale it for money? Moreover, if someone does not have money to buy blood when he or she needs it, that person will be dying. This case is a free market ideology. How we can set a limit on sell a product, but we still can maintain the idea of free market. The United States is a capitalism country. We should expect the businesses have a choice to choose what they want to sell. Even in a free market, we, however, want to live in stable a society. For example, when patients need a blood transfusion, they cannot get off their bed and ask for blood for themselves. They need to be care for their need have to be met. From ethic of care, we should have some blood in high quality and safe ready for them.
If we compare the United States and Great Britain, we see they have available of blood with high quality for their patient. A free market of blood is clear for people need care. African people sell their blood for 15 cent of a pint, but Plasma International sells it for 25 dollar in the United States. Plasma International need to include the other expenses as transportation, but it still looks as they are making a lot of profit. We should ask ourselves about people from Africa; do we care for them too? They are save one life. They, however, get pay for extremely low price for their blood. Do we pay moral attention to them? They need one care too. They need money to support themselves and their family, so they do need to sell their blood. No one care for them, they just pay little for them and do not care how they feel. Moreover, no one ask why they need to do that. I do not know much why African people need to sell their blood. I know a lot of people in my Vietnam country; they need to sell their blood to have money to buy food for their kids or their parents. They, however, can not to have enough money to buy food for them to recover after they sell their blood. In my opinion, we should care for those people too. Those people need help from us too.