Ethical dilemma of Doctors without Borders (MSF)

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Doctors without Borders were founded with the objective of humanitarian service to war torn areas and places with epidemic outbreak. Also known as MSF, Doctors without Borders is grappling with an ethical dilemma that involves paying a moral price to save lives. The host governments of some war zones effect media inaccessibility to pursue inhuman activities against the civilian. However, owing to the history and role of MSF, various fighting groups allow them to provide medical services, distribute food and clothing to the casualties (Humanitarian negotiations revealed: The msf experience.2011).However, by keeping quit, the host countries continue with its violation which amounts to guilt on the conscience of the staff

Statement of the problem

Considering the fact that MSF operations focus on regions embroiled in war, it has had to cope with the horror of people dying from malnutrition, injuries, and diseases. In its latest missions, the war in Yemen, Syria, Somali, among others have presented MSF with a difficult humanitarian provision challenges. The conflicting forces that always include government versus rebels, terrorist groups or militias undertake horrific massacres that leave the MSF staff in a dilemma of whether to speak out and lose access or keep quit as the killing spree continues. It has been the policy of MSF to exercise maximum tolerance, political impartiality and independence from warring sides (Redfield, 2013). The most challenging part is the organization’s obligation to offer medical services to injured people in conflict zones without considering which side they fight for. In fact, MSF staff work in places that media cannot access on condition they sacrifice even the duty to report to the world through witnessing.

Research strategy

The delicate nature of MSF work and their record on saving life makes resolving the dilemma a tricky affair. In that regard, undertaking a research study in this topic will involve exploratory approach. Literature review on the history of MSF, its legal status, code of ethics and emerging pressure to talk will help fill the information gap in this topic. Use of qualitative and quantitative data will inform the research strategy. Research design of this study will emphasize diverse reading of some MSF staffs that have recorded horror experience in the line of duty in war zones and the policy conflicts among its leaders.

Research Question

Should MSF speak out on the violation of human rights by host governments and lose access to the war zones where they should offer humanitarian services?

Rationale for the choice of exploratory research strategy

There is limited documented information on the ethical dilemma that MSF is experiencing. In that regard, exploratory approach would constitute search and collection of fragments of information from past interviews on television, radio and print media. Besides, searching the series of policy conflicts within MSF leadership ranks will also justify exploratory approach to identify the best decision alternative in the dilemma. Research methodology in this topic will blend various approaches together. It imperative that the data collected are from reliable sources to build valid case on the topic under discussion. Exploratory research is unrestricted and will expand the scope of investigation and use of various resources. It is also important in a tricky and new topic on a specific organization like in the case in question. Since it promote application of diverse data collection tools and methods, it will best suit the attempt to answer the research question

Research instrument for collecting data

To gather enough data that would help in provide a conclusive result, reading different print resources will be the preferred and relevant tool. MSF have its staff engaged in various parts of the world due to ongoing epidemic outbreaks in West Africa like Ebola, humanitarian crisis in the fierce war in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Taliban attack in Afghanistan. In that respect, other tools such oral interview may not readily be applicable. Extensive reading of journals, global print media bulletins, past interviews, international policies on humanitarian courses and human right will help provide significant data that must be acknowledged and thorough verified.



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