Today I heard the story about a nursing home worker in California who called 911 to request help for a patient who was unconscious. When the 911 operator urged the caller to administer CPR and offered guidance on how to do it, she refused on the grounds that her employer’s rule prohibit it. The patient later died and the employer went on record saying she did the right thing.
This case reminded me of a moral dilemma I found myself in in 2012. Without giving too many details, I was reprimanded for calling someone who expressed the need for help on Facebook. The corporate line was that if something bad had happened to the poster after my contact with him, our corporation might be held liable.
Well, excuse me for being human! As it turned out, the man was very grateful for my call and I suffered no consequences other than a verbal warning from my superior. However, I really began to question the mission of my (former) employer that appeared to have put profits before people.
So, I open the dilemma up to you for consideration: Would you deliberately break a rule of your employer if it potentially meant saving another person’s life?
Update: It turns out the nurse who refuse to perform CPR did so because the patient had a ‘Do not resuscitate’ order on file with the facility. Would that change how you would respond?