Posted: June 15th, 2021

Background of the ethical issue

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The ethical issue in question involves the Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal emanating from various allegations of appalling living conditions, and management at the medical center in Washington D. C. This is as reported by Washington Post in February 2007. Washington Post reported cases of neglect of veterans which are under investigation ever since 2004. After the case was reported, various ethical issues emerged in that the soldiers were treated un-ethically.

Initial exposure of the neglect by hospital administration was reported by a series of articles beginning 18th February 2007. These articles outlined cases of neglect at Walter Reed Medical Center, as reported by wounded soldiers and their relatives. The complaints included the disengaged clerks, unqualified platoon sergeants and over-worked managers who made it difficult for the soldiers to obtain appropriate medical care at the center (Celia V, 2007).

In this way, the soldiers found themselves in a medical limbo, living in building plagued by mold, peeling paint and rodents as they wait endlessly for medical appointments and government paperwork that would help them get their lives back in order (Celia V, 2007). This in effect provoked a huge coverage from the media, prompted house hearings, and caused the firing of the top brass at the medical center and the resignation of the army secretary (Celia V, 2007). Resolving the problem using the five ‘I’ format Identifying the problem
From the report, the care and the management of the wounded men and women in uniform is under responsibility of unqualified people. Moreover, the building of the medical center is reported as rodent and cockroach-infested, poor beddings, plagued by mold, with stained carpet and with no heat and water. The care and welfare of wounded soldiers require the highest standards of excellence and treatment by those who are responsible. When this is not met, it violates the ethical principles which under laid by the U. S government as it is the sole agent for the care of the soldiers.
Investigating the problem The government should ensure that the care of wounded soldiers is carried out properly and also with set criteria of restoring those injured. It is unethical to find that the soldiers once injured in duty were not given the proper medical attention they required. Further, the living conditions are at bad state. The army officials should investigate and obtain the root cause of the problem, whether it is due to lack of resources to repair the buildings, or if the center is under poor management. This can be done by sending some officers from the U.
S army to evaluate the situation at the ground, as well as by conducting interview with the patients and their relatives. In this way, it is possible to come up with clear solutions to the problems affecting the army medical center. Innovating the solution From the findings of the investigations, the management should come up with resolutions geared towards elevating the problems which the medical facility is experiencing. Such solutions may include allocating resources to repair the roofing, purchase of quality beddings, re-painting the walls, and also putting new carpet.
Moreover, the management should look in to the issues concerning the individuals who are responsible in running the medical facility in an effort to determine their competence, and effectiveness while executing their roles. Those found not competent enough should be sacked and replaced by more vibrant staff capable of providing quality care to the injured soldiers. Management should also think of alternatives such as residential care. This is whereby the injured soldiers could be discharged to a home care.
This care would involve family members and significant others to take care of the needs of the injured soldiers. Additionally, the government should provide funds and other resources to facilitate proper care while the injured soldiers are at the residential home care. Isolating the solution From the analysis of the findings, the primary problem in this case is poor management of the army medical center. Implementing the solution The president should appoint a team from the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs to look into the issues regarding this medical center.
This team should sack all the medical management staff whom they find not competent enough, and replace with new ones. The teams should also source funds and other resources for the repair of the facility, and also purchase new equipments. Further, the team should also consider alternatives such as residential care as explained above. Evaluating the decision taken By implementing the above decision, the medical facility will be restored to its effectiveness and thereby enable it to properly take care of the injured soldiers.
This is because this decision was taken out of proper criteria of handling a problem, that is, five ‘I’ format. Five ‘I’ format helps a decision maker to critically evaluate a specific problem and come out with an informed solution. This is because it thoroughly examines all possible alternatives in an effort to come out with the best possible solution. It looks into all factors, moral, social-economical and ethical, while dealing with a particular problem. Reference Celia Viggo Wexler (2007). Walter Reed Scandal: How Mainstream Media Let Us Down. Washington Post.

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