Thereare numerous incidences of bullying in the modern workplaces. Themedical profession is not an exceptional. Rates of medical workers,especially senior staff, mistreating juniors or trainee personnelhave increased in health facilities. These occurrences have farreaching implications on relationships between colleagues, whichimpacts on their effectiveness and productivity (Cleary, Hunt, &Horsfall, 2010). The issue reported to the ethics committee involvesa senior member of the staff being accused of bullying his or herjunior. The committee is tasked with the responsibility of making thedecision whether the individual should be dismissed or the mostappropriate action that should be taken against his or her.
Theethics committee can either recommend the physician to be dischargedor otherwise. This is dependent on the evidence presented for andagainst the case. Assuming that there is a reason to believe that heor she acted inappropriately, a decision to dismiss him or her wouldhave direct consequences on the organization. It is important to notethat he or she is the only pediatric oncologist staff in thefacility. This may result in crisis because it takes time andresources to replace his or her. This is more challenging consideringthat there are a limited number of oncologists in the labor market.However, this will have positive impacts on workplace ethics anddeter similar incidences in the future.
Incontrast, the committee can be lenient to the physician and proposeother disciplinary actions such as a formal caution. This will havean implication on the workplace. For example, it will promote anorganizational culture in which some members of the staff bullyothers because they are indispensable. This is because it is not aneffective method of deterring similar deeds. On the other hand, itwill save the organization the cost of hiring another practitioner.Due to the impacts of bullying in workplaces, I would support theformer. This is because mistreating other workers is against theuniversal medical professional ethics.
Thereare several ethical principles that can support the decision todismiss the physician if the case against his is proved beyondreasonable doubt. In principle, bullying violates some of the basicmedical ethics. The most important principles that guide the medicalworkers are autonomy, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. The physicianis expected not to do harm under all circumstances. However, being abully humiliates, threatens and intimidates other workers, resultingin psychological suffering. Doctors and nurses have the moralresponsibility of promoting good and eliminating evils that result insuffering. The ethical committee is tasked with the duty of ensuringthat professionalism and morality are upheld for the welfare of allparties. It is unjust to be lenient to the physician because of hisposition in the organization. Decency dictates that all individualsshould be treated equally. Irrespective of the cost the facility islikely to incur, he or she should have the same fate like any otheremployee accused of similar offenses. The committee should seek topromote justice and ethics by making recommendations that are basedon what is right (Matt, 2012).
Thecase is complicated and involved a delicate balancing act. However,the decision should be based on the ethical principles that guide themedical profession rather that the position held by the individual inthe organization. If there is a reason to believe that the physicianhas been bullying other workers, he or she should be dismissed perthe organization policy.
Cleary,M. Hunt, G. E. & Horsfall, J. (2010). Identifying and AddressingBullying in Nursing. Issuesin Mental Health Nursing.31 (5), pp 331–335.
Matt,S. (2012). Ethical and Legal Issues Associated With Bullying in theNursing Profession, Journalof Nursing Law,15(1), pp 9-13.