Corporate bodies have a group of people who in the operation of the firm have something to gain or lose. These people have stakes in the planning and programme implementation process within the company (Markwell, 2010). They are known as stakeholders. In a firm, there are two different categories of stakeholders namely, internal and external stakeholders. At the Universal Human Care Hospital, the President frequently interacts with several stakeholders in order to work towards achieving the set objectives.
The first internal stakeholders are the procurement; they are entitled with buying of services and goods. Dr. DoRight has to coordinate with the procurement to ensure that the procurement price is below the profits the hospital obtains after selling their products. Notably, the procurement must carry out a cost-benefit analysis to gage if their intended purchases and supplies will sustain the hospital’s operations. The next internal stakeholders are the board committee members; they work together with the President to set out the hospital’s policies and achievable objectives. These members oversee the resource requisition and allocation.
There is also the board of trustees. This internal stakeholder works in soliciting funds for the continuity of the Universal Human Care Hospital. Dr. DoRight being the President will have to work with the latter to ensure transparency and accountability in management of the solicited funds (Markwell, 2010).
The patients, on the other hand, are external stakeholders. Dr. DoRight was tasked with ensuring quality and prompt service provision by the health staff. This was targeting the patients and other service users, who will develop trust in the service provision at the hospital thus, helping in the development and growth of the Universal Human Care Hospital. Secondly, is the community around the health facility; they must be empowered by the initiatives that the hospital outlines.
Every corporate body must have a well-organized Corporate Responsibility (CR) for the surrounding community. This can be through communal empowerment, donations, bursary support, and other charity work (Markwell, 2010). Lastly, are the suppliers; they deal in provision of equipment and services to the institution. Dr. DoRight has to sign an agreement with the suppliers to ensure that they deliver drugs and facilities that are of high quality. Remarkably, the hospital has to make sure that there are proper waste management practices that are in place to protect the environment.
Conflicts of interest arise when one stakeholder’s desire can cause dissatisfaction to another company’s stakeholder. It can lead to shift of allegiance or a struggle of diverging interests within a firm; therefore, every organization must put in place a code of conduct that guides the operation of all its stakeholders (Potential Stakeholder Conflict – Corporate Responsibility and Stakeholders, n.d.). At the Universal Human Care Hospital, the suppliers can aim at expanding their services and material provision.
This scenario will force the health facility to extend its geographical boundaries. Although the suppliers have a good intention, the local community will not receive this idea positively, as it might cause disruption to their plans thus resulting to a conflict of interest. The community can also choose to demand for immediate benefits from the hospital. A move that is legitimate but can pose a challenge to the suppliers who will receive less funds as part of it will be taken to socials corporate affairs.
Moreover, the Board of Trustees may require that the facility raise their levies in order to obtain high profits. The patients, on the other hand, will receive this idea with a lot of resistance. The patients may opt to get the same services from different hospitals at lower costs. Interestingly, it is the Board of Trustees role, as one of the internal stakeholders to ensure that they retain and attract more clients or patients. Dr. DoRight should ensure that the Universal Human Care Hospital offers quality services that are incomparable to other health facilities in that area. This approach will justify their need for price increase.
On the other hand, patients can demand for prompt service provision at the hospital. This can lead to a conflict of interest with the Board of Trustees who schemes with the available resources. Remarkably, this request will require more funds then before but the latter stakeholder are highly interested in the organization’s high investment (Potential Stakeholder Conflict – Corporate Responsibility and Stakeholders, n.d.).
Further, the procurement can decide to submit a requisition for highly priced materials so that they can be assured of the products durability. This proposal can be an expensive affair; hence, can lead to rejection by the Board Committee Members. Obviously, quality products are best in service provision, and helps in maintaining and attracting more patients. The President of the Universal Human Care Hospital should take into account the interests of these stakeholders by engaging them in consultation, cooperation, and workable agreements.
Dr. DoRight’s was tasked with advocating for the patients’ quality service delivery and overseeing the legal department amongst others. Therefore, he was to monitor the welfare of the patients, such that any problem affecting them gets immediate attention. In such an institution, it is an ethical responsibility to do good to all the stakeholders. Ethics involves doing what is just and cannot be disqualified by the legal laws (Andorno, Leititis & Lenk, 2004). Markedly, ethics does not necessarily mean what the society likes. Therefore, in accepting to advocate for the rights of the patients, Dr. DoRight was ethically responsible for reporting the deaths.
Even though one may argue that, it is his failure, as he did not supervise properly and only received the information from another source, but he had numerous departments to supervise. In addition, a deep analysis of the ratio of employees to patients is 1:4. Notably, this signifies that the number of nurses or health assistants is below five thousand. In essence, the high number of patients makes it difficult for the few nurses and doctors to offer adequate services to the patients. The big difference between the number of nurses and patients can lead to the deaths of these patients. Therefore, it remains for the Trustees and the board committee members to employ more doctors and nurses such that the facility offers quality service.
This option will ensure that the doctors’ patients’ ratio meets the international standards. This situation presents a conflict of interest between the President who wants the hospital to offer high-level services and the Trustees who have sourced for limited resources, and requires them to be utilized fully in the facility. This health care problem should be addressed concretely and carefully to avoid a repeat in the future.
On the other hand, Dr. DoRight may be said to be unethical in his responsibility, as he was aware that the cause of the deaths was illegal procedures that the nurses and doctors followed. The President ought to have identified and fired these health assistants and ensure immediate replacement without necessarily reporting these incidents (Andorno et al., 2004). Moreover, it is noted that Dr. DoRight received this information in January 2009 and instructed the Regional Director Compliance Manager and Executive Committee to carry out an inclusive investigation on this incident; surprisingly, the President had not received the report of the investigation by January 2011.
This, actually, shows lack of interest in advocating for the rights of the patients. Therefore, reporting such incident showed lack of ethical responsibility in the President’s side. This scenario presents a great irony given that Dr. DoRight still obtains awards in leadership and attaining the hospital’s goals. Surely, for a health facility, one of the business goals is to ensure that they offer quality and legal services to the patients in order to reduce the number of patients’ deaths. However, this is an opposite scenario at the Universal Human Care Hospital, where the President still wins awards for both leadership and meeting the business objectives. When the President reported these illegal practices, this showed poor leadership and high level of hypocrisy and unethical standards.
Deontology principle in determining or classifying moral values, lays great emphasis on duties, and the correct set of laws that is available to regulate these duties (Cline, n.d.). Therefore, one must follow his/her duties to qualify as moral, but one who does not follow these duties is considered immoral. These obligations and duties involve obeying God. Further, one can still be considered moral if he/she breaks a moral rule but gets motivated to adhere to the correct motivations. In deontological principle, correct motivations cannot be used to justify an act as correct. Essentially, duties determination must be unconditional and not subjective. In this moral system, the moral principles are non-consequential. For example, if I have a moral duty not to fight, then fighting, alone, is always wrong. According to this principle, the results of the fight do not justify the wrong.
In Dr. DoRight’s situation, the act of reporting the illegal procedures can lead to firing of the responsible doctors and nurses. This will help reduce the deaths due to illegal procedures. The President’s action presents the ethical principle of double effect; it purports that a good action must have two effects. This is evident in this situation where the President reported the illegal procedures that the negligent nurses and doctors followed. On the other hand, if he could have not acted, the doctors could have retained their jobs but the patients could have continued dying. In comparing the rights of the doctors and the patients, the right to life is more important than all the other rights. Dr. DoRight was ethically right as it is viewed as a means of rescuing life of human being, which is one fundamental commitment to God’s wishes (Cline, n.d.). Therefore, the Presidents action of reporting the illegal acts was one of his duties and obligations, thus qualifying as a moral duty.
Utilitarianism Principle lays more emphasis on the consequences of an action than on the process of action. It takes into account the interests of the third party at the expense of one’s own interests. An action is considered as proper if it gives more ‘good’ to greatest number of people than to a few numbers of people (Utilitarianism, n.d.). The continuous deaths of patients at the Universal Human Care Hospital made the President to report the illegal practices. In considering the consequences, that is ‘the end justifies the means’, utilitarianism supports the actions that was undertaken. Out rightly, the number of doctors and nurses who could lose their jobs is negligible compared to the number of patients who could continue losing their precious lives at the health facility.
Additionally, the hospital will ensure that it utilizes its funds meant for paying the entire workforce properly. Clearly, the negligent doctors were not able to meet their objectives but continued to withdraw salaries from the facility; therefore, their exclusion will enable the hospital to recruit other health assistants, who are responsible. In this win-lose situation, the facility will be more productive in long-term analysis. In this case, utilitarianism has even helped other stakeholders like the community, trustees, and board of members.
On the other hand, economic beneficial actions do not qualify as just or proper. Since, hospitals are social institutions that deal mainly with the health of patients, actions made must not be of a great benefit to a large population at the expense of the concern for the quality service provided at the institution. Dr. DoRight as the President must foresee the beneficial and harmful effects that his actions can cause to the institution in future. He can also explore other means of solving such situations to avoid direct harm and possible conflicts of interest (Potential Stakeholder Conflict – Corporate Responsibility and Stakeholders, n.d.).
Andorno, N. B., Leititis, J., & Lenk, C. (2004). Ethics, EBM, and Hospital Management. Medical Ethics, 30(2). Web.
Cline, A. (n.d.). Deontology and Ethics: What is Deontology, Deontological Ethics?. Agnosticism / Atheism – Skepticism & Atheism for Atheists & Agnostics. Web.
Markwell, S. (2010). Identifying and Managing Internal and External Stakeholder Interests | Health Knowledge. Health Knowledge. Web.
Potential Stakeholder Conflict – Corporate Responsibility and Stakeholders. (n.d.). The Times 100 – Teaching Business Studies by Example. Web.
Utilitarianism. (n.d.). European Business Ethics Network Ireland. Web.