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Ethical Dilemma in a Cave-in Situation
Imagine that you are on a spelunking expedition. You have entered a cave and traveled deeper into the caverns for several hours. The group has entered a small room with only one entrance, the one used to enter the cavern. The entire group except for the leader has entered. As the leader crawls through the entrance, a cave-in occurs. The way out is blocked by her body, which is covered with tons of rubble. She is alive, determined by a pulse in her wrist, which is sticking out of the rubble. It isn`t possible to assess the degree of injury (for example, broken neck, internal injuries, and so forth) and moving her may cause more serious injury or death. Time passes, and no help has arrived. Further, the air in the small room is getting stale, and there is less oxygen to breathe. Would you remove her body, by any means possible, and, in the process, sacrifice her life in order to exit the cavern? Would you decide not to do anything to cause further injury or possibly death? What is the rationale for both responses? Integrate the reasons with the means versus the ends arguments that support the following theories (Abrams, 1989).