Discussion 2b | Sociology homework help

Case study on Resource Allocation and Priority Setting

  • What are the ethical implications of this case study?
  • What are the ethical implications of alternative courses of action?
  • What should we do in this situation and how can we justify that decision?

Before you begin your discussion this week prepare by reading Chapter 3 in your textbook and viewing the video on the 3-Step Process for Public Health Decision Making. Read the case study located in section 3.8 of your textbook, Case 4: Black-White Infant Mortality: Disparities, Priorities, and Social Justice. You will respond to Steps 1 and 2 of the 3-Step process by Wednesday and respond to Step 3 by Saturday.

Step 1: Analyze the Ethical Dimensions of the Public Health Issue and Context

  • You are considering shifting resources from maternal-child health programs to programs for more members of the community.  If black-white disparities in birth outcomes continue, but the overall health of the community improves, have you met your ethical obligations as a health department?
  • Is there something about infant mortality that makes it special in consideration of fairness? Do we need to think about what is fair in a different way because infants are involved?
  • Should the role of race and racism in infant mortality impact how we set priorities and allocate resources? Why or why not?

Step 2: Formulate Alternative Courses of Action and Evaluate their Ethical Dimensions

There are 3 choices suggested in this case study:

  1. Maintain funding for maternal-child health care
  2. Shift funding from maternal-child health care to programs that impact the health of the larger community
  3. Involve the community in deciding what the priorities are and how resources should be allocated
  • What are the ethical dimensions of each option?
  • If the community gets involved, who should speak for the community?

Step 3: Provide Justification for a Particular Public Health Decision (Team Decision)
For this step, your discussion team will communicate and decide together the answers to these questions. Your team can discuss and decide using your discussion board or you are welcome to set a time for your team to meet virtually through Microsoft Teams, Zoom, etc. Your groups are large so it might be challenging to find a time that works for everyone. If this is the case, please use the discussion board so everyone can weigh in on the decisions. One team member should make a final post on behalf of the team to share your team’s decision and justification. 

  • Which course of action will your team choose?
  • What is the justification for your decision? (Which ethical principles take priority and why?)
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