Ethical Problems and Ethical Dilemmas


Most individuals face many ethical problems and ethical dilemmas in their lifetime. Considering ethical problems, there is a possibility that ethical problems can be solved with ease as there would certainly be a direct solution. However, when considering ethical dilemmas, the situation is much different. Ethical dilemmas are much more complicated and the solution cannot be made easily. Ethical problems and ethical dilemmas are common in health care facilities. The video clearly shows a scene in a hospital that expresses a strong ethical dilemma backed up with other ethical problems.

(Corporate Finance Institute 2019)

Case scenario and the analysis

The general surgeon, Miranda Bailey, battles to manage a bigot who happens to work in the medical clinic as a paramedic. Miranda Bailey, an African American specialist, assumes the job of being the specialist for a paramedic who happens to be a White Supremacist. This paramedic met with an accident, and requires immediate medical attention. Throughout the scene, the effect of race and how it influences Miranda and different specialists are well presented.

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At the beginning, the scene starts off when Miranda attempts to help Shane, a paramedic injured in an accident. As she attempts to examine his wounds, Shane avoids contact and request for a male doctor to examine him. Next Richard Weber comes into the scene to assess Shane's injuries. However, Shane rejects him and demands an alternate specialist. At this point, Miranda and Richard Weber acknowledge Shane is bigot and needs a white specialist. 'With the mass turmoil in the medical clinic, this demand is inconceivable in light of the fact that each staff part in occupied with sparing individuals.

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It is proved that Shane is narrow minded in light of the fact that he has two astonishing specialists needing to support him and spare him however he is excessively enveloped with his very own belief system that he neglects alternate patients, who are not racists, and are dying and would appreciate if they had the specialists to take care of them.

Miranda is very upset about how discourteous Shane is. To proceed, Miranda approaches Christina Yang, an Asian doctor, to deal with Shane, since she isn't white or dark. Shane still is not satisfied with Christina however he gives in and gives her a chance to survey his wounds since Shane's condition was getting worse. As Christina lifted his shirt, she sees a tremendous Swastika tattoo on his stomach area. Unmistakably irritated, Christina reveals that both her step fathers parents were murdered in Auschwitz, a Jewish Concentration Camp. Miranda Bailey, the Afro American doctor convinces Christina to be involved in Shane's operation. She transcends and does what she needs to do so as to spare this patient despite the fact that she unequivocally can't help contradicting his convictions and way of life.

Lastly, the medical procedure required two specialists and the main specialists accessible were Miranda and Christina which obviously Shane disagrees. He fears that Miranda and Cristina would kill him during the operation. Shane unmistakably does not confide in these two splendid specialists on account of their race and foundation and powers a white male careful assistant to manage the medical procedure and ensure he doesn't pass on. At that point she makes an entry point down the focal point of the Swastika crushing the estimation of the tattoo.

There was a ton going on with this scene and numerous issues were tended to. In the scene, Miranda Bailey, Richard Weber and Christina Yang are on the whole exceedingly instructed specialists of an alternate race however were talked downward on the grounds that they were not white, similar to the supremacist understanding. When managing this patient, every one of the specialists needed to put their own lives on hold so as to spare their patient. This was unbelievable hard for the specialists, as it ought to be, on the grounds that their knowledge was addressed by a racial oppressor. The racial pressure in the scene is plainly shown and it demonstrates to us the truth of bigot individuals and how the minority bunch needs to ascend and nearly overlook prejudice and continue. Miranda takes a gander at Shane as she is performing medical procedure and says, " An individual can just ascend so high, presently I am rising however an individual can just ascend so high on the grounds that there is a roof." Shane is under anaesthesia so he can't hear her, yet her message to him and us is that she is transcending his bigotry so as to spare his life.

The Ethical Dilemma

''An ethical dilemma (ethical paradox or moral dilemma) is a problem in the decision-making process between two possible options, neither of which is absolutely acceptable from an ethical perspective.'' (Corporate Finance Institute 2019)

According to the video, there are 2 situations involved in the scene which expresses one ethical dilemma and that is Shane being left to die or treated by the non-white doctors.

The two situations are:

Examining Shane's injuries

According to the video scene, Shane is a white supremacist and expects a white doctor to examine his injuries. He did not allow Dr. Miranda Bailey and Dr. Weber to examine him, because they were black skinned Afro Americans. Therefore, Dr Miranda brings in Dr Christina Yang to examine Shane's wounds. Dr Christina also was not a white and not a black too. It is ethically not right to let a patient die considering the doctrine of emergency, Dr Miranda explained Shane about the fact that he had little time to live, so Shane allows Christina to examine his wounds.

Shane's surgery and the signing of the consent form

The scan taken reveals the fact that Shane has to undergo a surgery immediately, but he denies to sign the consent form after realising that Dr. Miranda and Dr Christina will be the ones performing the surgery. In the video, Shane strongly insists for a white doctor to at least be there while the surgery is performed. The doctors could have denied Shane's request and continued with the surgery considering the doctrine of emergency, but that is not what happened in the video.

The overall ethical dilemma brings about a sequence of ethical problems, with obvious solutions. However, the overall ethical dilemma was complex to solve but considering the doctrine of emergency, the patient has to be saved, and that is what happens in the video too.

Ethical Problems

The ethical problems involved are;

Shane's swastika tattoo

According to the case study analysis, Dr. Christina reveals that her step father's parents were killed by Nazis, therefore she was upset in seeing the large swastika tattoo on Shane's abdomen while examining his injuries. Shane was made ready by Dr. Christina for a scan to assess his internal injuries. At that point, Dr. Christina changed the way she treated him, this was that she became a little tough with him and presented her view about the tattoo in an indirect way, so Shane explains to her that she has to treat him as any other patient. It is ethically wrong to treat a patient in a wrong manner, even though the patient had a white supremacy attitude, the doctor (Dr. Christina) has to put up with it and treat the patient as how any other patient is treated.

Dr. Christina Yang's argument with Dr Miranda Bailey

Dr Christina argues with Dr Miranda about removing her from her current duties. She was assigned to another task but was pulled out by Dr Miranda to assist in Shane's case. Dr Christina argues that Dr. Miranda abused her power, as the video shows that Dr. Miranda compels Dr Yang to assist in Shane's case. Therefore, it was ethically wrong to force Dr Yang into Shane's case, as she was already preoccupied with another task. Also, this was against her will. She even disliked assisting in Shane's case, after seeing the swastika tattoo on Shane's abdominal area due to personal reasons and Dr. Yang also argues that Dr Miranda used her for her skin colour and had thought low about her education.

Breached ethical principles

Autonomy has five principles and they are

  • Privacy
  • Confidentiality
  • Veracity
  • Consent

These principles can be taken into account to determine the ethical breaches;


Definitely privacy was breached as the paramedic Shane had to reveal that he was a white supremacist to the black doctors, Doctor weber and doctor Bailey.


Confidentiality was breached as the fact that Shane was a white supremacist was told by doctor Bailey to 3 other doctors. the three doctors were 2 white doctors and doctor yang. in addition, while the surgery was going on doctor Bailey was giving a comment my elbow is Deep in a Nazi's gut, this will give an impression about Shane to other individuals involved in the surgery like the nurses. it is strongly shown that doctor Bailey doesn't care about maintaining confidentiality about the fact that she is a white supremacist moreover doctor yang reveals the fact that Shane has a Swastika tattoo on his stomach region to doctor Bailey.


Veracity was not breached because Shane was informed of the medical procedure this is surgery scan that he was supposed to undergo accurately the doctors did not provide false information to Shane for example when Shane enquired about who the doctors performing the surgery on him were, doctor Miranda Bailey truthfully tells that the two doctors who will be involved in his surgery doctor Christina yang and doctor Miranda Bailey herself.


consent another principle of autonomy was not breached. doctor Miranda Bailey calls in O'Malley, a white intern Doctor to get Shane to sign the consent and to anesthetize him. Shane had requested a white doctor to be present during his surgery and so O' Malley agrees to stay with Shane during the surgery, therefore Shane signs the consent form giving consent to perform the surgery on him.


In the context of examining Shane's injuries, there would have been at least one white doctor available to examine him, if not a white intern doctor like O' Malley could have examined his injuries under the supervision of the black doctor, Dr Bailey. However, this did not happen in the scene, because after Dr. Bailey explained the fact that he had little time to live, Shane lets Dr Christina, who was again a non-white doctor to examine him. In the meantime, if Dr Christina Yang was unavailable, the next option may be to bring in O' Malley.

Considering Shane's surgery and signing of the consent form, definitely the hospital would have had white doctors, so Dr Miranda could call in a white doctor to assist in such a complex situation and that is what happens in the video where Dr. Bailey Miranda calls in one white intern doctor to make Shane sign the consent. Shane also requested the white doctor to stay during Shane's surgery and that also happens as requested, it is shown that Dr. Bailey did what was ethically right.

Considering the argument between Dr. Yang and Dr. Bailey, the best possible option that would have been used will be to talk to Dr. Yang beforehand and explain her about the situation in a friendlier manner rather than to have used authority.


All the ethical problems arose as a result of the ethical dilemma present. This ethical dilemma was settled as shown in the video, but could have been resolved in a manner that would avoid ethical breaches. Dr. Bailey knew Shane was a white supremacist after one point, she followed the doctrine of emergency, duties of a doctor and the law and performed a marvellous job by "rising above", but she could have thought about the ethical breaches that would rise. Considering this she could have brought in the white intern doctor to explain Shane about the situation, this would have changed the track of how the future events took place.


This goes past patients and the clinic. We see it wherever we go. Individuals are bigot and there is continually going to be a minority amass that will transcend and continue and overlook the disdainful remarks and proceed onward with their lives. The video depicts the picture of a white supremacist and an assortment of hustled specialists in a show filled scene. Individuals appreciate watching this dramatization go down on T.V. be that as it may, neglect to understand that this stuff occurs, all things considered. Playing out this medical procedure and sparing Shane's life was one of the hardest things Miranda needed to do however she transcended and carried out her responsibility with progress. (Myers 2016)


  1. Myers, K. (2016). Racism in the Hospital. [online] Medium. Available at: [Accessed 17 Mar. 2019].
  2. Corporate Finance Institute. (2019). Ethical Dilemma - Definition, How to Solve, and Examples. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Mar. 2019].
  3. (2017). Health Management, Ethics and Research Module: 7. Principles of Healthcare Ethics: View as single page. [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Mar. 2019].
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Ethical Problems and Ethical Dilemmas. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Ethical Problems and Ethical Dilemmas
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