Values Systems in Cross-Cultural Perspective
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Dom Pedro is one of the largest land owners in the Brazil and was also one of the founders of the local Rural Democratic Union (UDR) which strongly opposed the notion of bringing land reforms in the Brazil. Dom Pedro who was critically ill and was expected to die soon had a son Raoul, who now faces the dilemma of whether he should gift the lands to poor and announce it publically or not. Raoul unlike his father was in favor of the land reforms and he now wants to distribute 20, 000 hectares of their land to 2000 families. As there are approximately five million landless camensio families who are in desperate need of land and are dying of hunger and getting the land is their only hope for survival.
However, he faces the threat of life and is afraid that if UDR gets to know about his intentions to distribute the land to the landless people, they would kill him in order to prevent the family from implementing the plan of distributing the land among poor. Raoul’s sister supports him in his decision. The members of UDR are cold-blooded and vindictive people who can go to any extent to get their purpose fulfilled.
The dilemma for Raoul started when he met the members of Movement of Landless; an institute which became increasingly popular among the Brazilians and was now a threat for UDR. MST wants Raoul to publically support MST and announce his act of giving the land to landless families as Raoul belonged to an influential family and had a strong background and education. However, Raoul is reluctant to announce it publically because of the risk of life involved
Question: Should Raoul announce his act of distributing the land and risk his Life?
Personal Reaction and Critique
I agree to the decision of Raoul to not announce his act of distributing his 20, 000 hectares of land publically because there is a lot of risk involved and risking one’s own life is not an act of bravery (Vendemiati, 63). Raoul feels strongly about the injustice towards the landless people as stated in the case on page 264 that: “ I have often argued with my father that the violence is not the way for our society and the distribution of land is too unequal. If I am to take responsibility for the estate, my conscience demands that I do something that moves us towards greater social justice.” So, by distributing the land to 2, 000 families, he would be able to help them and would play his part in their well being. Raoul has responsibility of the welfare of not only those land less people but he also has responsibility towards his family which he can only fulfill if he is alive, so risking his life in my opinion is not right
In the conclusion, I would strongly suggest Raoul, not to announce his act of distributing the land among poor as risking his life is not a very wise option. By gifting the land, he would be able to fulfill his purpose of helping poor and by not announcing it publically he would also not risk his life as distributing the land itself is an act of immense justice. However, he can keep on working silently with the Movement of Landless for the rights of rural and landless people
Chapter 14: For the Good of Children
This chapter highlights and revolves around the issues of child labor and education of the female children. The female children of poor families in Manila were sent overseas to work as domestic helpers as the pay overseas was five times more than Manila. Other families send their daughters to work in the factory which was in the Manila but the pay was very low. Moreover, the working conditions were threatening to the health and safety and could have long term adverse effects on their mental, social and physical development and moreover these factories did not pay them enough.
Maria who was working with an international advocacy group tried to pursue the people of Manila not to send their daughters to work. She wanted to make the people of Manila aware about the hazards of sending their daughters to these factories; however she did not receive a very positive response as the people were highly dependent on the income that their daughters bring in by working in those factories. Father Ramos though agreed to Maria but was concerned about the economic havoc that would be brought to the families as a consequence of not sending their daughters to work in the factory. Maria wanted to file a report as she was highly concerned about the development of skills and talents of the young girls where as the families were concerned about their economic survival.
Question: Should the Daughters be sent to work or not?
Personal Reaction and Critique
I agree to Father Ramos that this issue must be addressed however the approach taken by Maria is not right. As Father Ramos pointed out that the factory owners cannot pay more because they are already managing their expense in a very difficult manner and if they would pay more to the adult workers as demanded by Maria; they will run out of business and the factories will eventually shut down. As father Ramos said in the case on page 303 that: “ one look at the over grown grounds and the rusting corrugated buildings should be enough to realize that they can’t pay higher wages and stay in business” and by not sending their daughter to factories the families will be effected as these families were already struggling to make their ends meet and losing the wage of their girl child will be a big financial loss for them.
However, Maria on the other end is highly concerned about the young girls and strongly believed that something needs to be done immediately and therefore she wanted to file a report. But, she is overlooking the fact that the families of these girls are not financially sound and cannot sustain without the income of these girls, so there has to be an economic alternative arranged for the families
I would like to conclude it by suggesting that this issue needs to be resolved and that can only be done by taking a holistic approach and by taking into account of the concerns of all the stakeholders involved. By overlooking the concerns of those involved the issue can never be resolved therefore this issue can only be solved by taking a collaborative approach
Moreover, the government should make legislation for Child Labor and should also take measures to enforce this legislation. In addition a mechanism of social justice should be developed not only for one individual but for the society as a whole which will eventually lead to a good society
Chapter 16: An Unlikely Donor
This case is about the issue of organ selling that is prevalent among the poor people particularly those residing in the Asia. Carole Bennet who was working as a nurse in a hospital, observed that in the past few months there were unusual donors who were not related to the recipients and were all healthy men. This seemed strange to Carole as removing a kidney from human body is very painful process and why would an unknown person go through such a pain for somebody who is not even related to him or her. The case accounts the issue of selling human organs by the poor people in exchange of the money. With the organ donation, the donor gets enough money to meet his and his children’s need. The case presents and highlights the basic issues related to organ transplantation, the informed consent and also the ethics of organ selling and its impact on the lives of sellers.
Carole is facing the dilemma after learning that Mr. Simonies who was a poor Turkish peasant and did not know English has agreed to sell his kidney for 10, 000 Pounds Sterling. Carole is confused whether Mr. Simonie knows that he has agreed to sell his kidney as he cannot read and write English. Moreover, she was also surrounded by her nursing ethics as she is the caregiver who demands her to be honest with her profession as well as patients. In addition, the facts that Mr. Simonie was very poor and the money he would get in return of his kidney would financially help his two generations.
Question: Should Carole tell the senior surgeon about the issue of Mr Simonie or not?
Personal Reaction and Critique
I do not agree to the notion of less privileged and less fortunate ones selling their organs in order to buy financial security for themselves as well as their children. This is not right as mentioned in the chapter as well on the page 351 that: “ the rich can purchase health and the biotechnology has enabled the rich to exploit the poor of their birthright, their organs.” I believe if Carole does not inform and blow the whistle then this will further strengthen the issue of exploiting poor in the society. Moreover, donating one’s organs to give life to others is a good karma and a good deed however selling it for money is not right and will give rise to further inequity in the society. Additionally, her nursing ethics demand her to be honest with her profession as well as patients a she is the caregiver
In the conclusion I would suggest Carole to tell the senior surgeon about Mr. Simonie as this will stop the operation which is due in few hours and I would also suggest Carole to talk to Mr. Simonie that whether he knows about this donation or not. The organs are given to every individual by the God as their birth right and the rich people cannot take that away from poor by using the power of their money. The practices like these will create further inequity and injustice in the society and it will encourage rich people to exploit poor further; so such practice should be stopped at all costs.
Chapter 17: An Issue of murder
This chapter basically deals with the issue of neglecting and not providing proper care to the mentally retarded children who due to lack of proper treatment would become weaker and eventually die. Since these are the poor families and don’t have sufficient resources to take care of their mentally retarded child they would consider the death of their child to be the will of God and would go through extreme pain. However, this is not the will of God that these children die. They died because they were not taken care properly. The chapter highlights that although modern techniques have now been applied in the medicine, but not much has been done for the retarded children particularly in the third world countries. Moreover, the retarded children become short of fats as they require more food which means lessening the food for another child. The issue could be solved by the organizations that distribute the subsidized food in these third world countries so that these children could live longer, however the connection is missing and these poor children who are mentally retarded also suffer from the shortage of food. The chapter begins by a discussion between Sister Dolores and Dr Rensuer and later among other doctors during a conference that whether the less fortunate and disabled should be given same right to life as the normal people. The other view point that has been endorsed by Dr Rensuer is that the best test of humanity is not the treatment of these retarded children and that many people who work for such children oppose that there should be a policy devised in Latin America to increase the life expectancies of such children.
Question: Should mentally retarded children given the same right to life as given to the normal people?
Personal Reactions and Critique:
In the case there are two viewpoints that are evident and talked upon however I believe that the treatment of the disabled is the best test of the humanity of a nation and they should be the given same right to life as the normal people. (Blackburn, 150) As said by Dr Sommers that ‘ I understand that many of these people are poor, but if their process of development does not recognize the retarded or otherwise disabled, what kind of society they can hope to build” (quoted on the page 360 of the case). I support this viewpoint as being part of a civilized society and a society that talks about giving equal rights to the people it is our responsibility to provide sufficient care to the mentally retarded people so that they can live longer. If they are neglected, this would create an in equity and injustice in the society
In conclusion I would like to suggest that it is the basic right of every human being to have access to the health facilities and being the member of the same society a retarded child should be given an access to similar facilities as given to a normal individual and nobody should be discriminated because of his or her disability. If the retarded children are ignored, this will create an inequity in the society and will lead to social injustice. Instead these retarded children require extra care and attention so there is a dire need for proper policy formulation for their health care and this is the responsibility of the state as well as international bodies to emphasize and ensure that these children are not being neglected
Blackburn, Simon. Being Good, A short Introduction to Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2001. Print.
Vendemiati, Aldo, In the First Person, An Outline of General Ethics, Rome, Urbaniana University Press, 2004.