Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stay at your own Risk

Monday night in my ethics class we discussed Hurricane what's love got to do with it,Ike. The question that was the topic of discussion was, Whose responsibility is it to help people that refused to evacuate when they had the chance to?

Well, my take on this is, you are on your own.

Let's just say I know a person is going to get robbed and maybe killed in the near future.I go to the person and tell them that they need to get the hell out of Dodge until the threat passes. I offer them transportation to leave, I offer them money for a hotel, I even offer to give them money for food for the entire time they need to stay away. I also tell them that if they choose to stay, I cannot guarantee their safety. I repeat this message everyday up to the day that the deed is going to happen. Everyday the person tells me that they ain't leaving. Everyday I tell them that the threat is real and I am willing to offer whatever assistance I can to keep them and their family safe. They tell me they are going to take their chances.

Well the day comes, and sure enough the big bad robber shows up, destroys the house and the person and their family are forced to hide in the basement or attic until the robbers figure there is nothing else of value there.

I then get a call demanding that I come and save them. The person is irate. They tell me that their children have been traumatized and it is my duty to come and help them.

I calmly tell them that I offered help before and they refused. I tell them they are low on my priority list because I have to get to the people that could not heed my warning. I.E.The elderly, and the physically impaired. I tell them that their house is not the only one that got robbed. I tell them to survive the best way they can and I will get to them when I get to them.

The next day this family is interviewed by all the major cable "news" outlets. They give a tour of their destroyed house and say that I am not doing enough to help them. They cry about how they have lost everything and how they were almost killed.

So who is responsible?

What would you do?

Is it ethically right to help someone that refused to help themselves when they had the chance?


ZACK said...

I didn't know that you were back in school! I have to take Ethics next quarter (as a graduation requirement).

But back to the story...

This is a sketchy issue. The reason being is that I don't feel that people are choosing to stay because they aren't scared of the "big bad robber". It's just that in the past, the media HAS overplayed the severity of certain hurricanes (Rita, Gustav).

But this is still a good point you have made, good sir. Good point!

jjbrock said...

Dirty Red great post! Personal no, I don't think we should help anybody that won't help themselves. Why should rescue worker risk their life for a crazy choice someone made? Especially, after seeing what happen in New Orleans.

We will die for things, when all things can be replaced. I saw were the media were talking to some of the resident that was in the storm path.

The silly things that was coming out of their mouths was amazing to say the lest. Really, how can you stop 150 miles wind? I agree with you, do the best you can you were offer a way out and you chose to stay deal with it.

RiPPa said...

Staying is a personal choice. But when it comes to the well being of citizens, especially with natural disasters and the like, the gov't has a responsibility to provide for its citizens.

Think about it this way: They don't give us the option of paying income taxes without the possible consequence of going to prison, do they?

Bellini said...

great hypothetical! makes me reminisce about my philosphy classes back in the day... here's the problem with hypotheticals applied in the real word--there are so many variables that warrant merit if Americans are going to have a frank discussion (i.e. zipcode, race, etc..) And many times when reporters ask Americans such hypotheticals the pc answer is primed for response, so why does a policy gap exist in terms of what American say and actually do. That's the million dollar question!

Oh and you're right about "stay at your own risk", however Uncle Sam historically tends to do for some and left others out to dry and fend for themselves -- ain't that American?

Missy said...

I agree. If you refuse to leave when you have the chance, you're saying that you take full responsibility for whatever happens. My entire family is in Houston and NONE of them left. Ditto for them. Basically, you're asking another person (mother, father, sister, brother, get the pic) to come in at the last hour and try to save you when you could have easily left beforehand.

DJ Black Adam said...

I agree with you man. Low on the priority list.