The most problematic ethical dilemma

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The most challenging ethical quandary occurs as the doctor must determine whether to conceal or reveal the pilot’s medical records to the corporation. In this case, a famous airline pilot has a heart murmur. Provided that the pilot has only one month until retirement, the doctor must determine whether to report the pilot’s health status to the airline. On the one side, supplying the details would result in the pilot’s early discharge, making it impossible to secure retirement compensation. Withholding the knowledge, on the other hand, endangers the lives of many passengers because the pilot’s poor health could result in a fatal plane crash. Ethical dilemmas involve deciding between good vs. evil or right vs. wrong. Good or right refers to actions or decisions that satisfy an individual or all people (In Miller, 2016). On the other hand, evil or wrong are those deeds unacceptable. The society defines what is good or bad. While various communities or cultures consider some actions or decisions good, the same acts are considered wrong in other communities. Besides, it is easy for individuals to classify some behaviors or actions as wrong, while other people find the same acts to be right (In Miller, 2016). The issue of whether an act is good or evil applies to this study. The doctors have a role in protecting patients. Therefore, they believe that it is right to withhold information on patients’ health status from other people. However, some people feel that restricting access to patient’s health information is wrong.

In this ethical dilemma, the right decision is for the doctor is to provide all the information regarding the pilot’s health to the airline. While it might be wrong, considering that law protects the privacy of all people, the move could be right because such information will help in enhancing the safety of passengers. In 2015, Andreas Lubitiz, a co-pilot suffering from mental illness, crashed Germanywings Flight killing 149 people (Veliz, 2015). Following this incident, experts in mental health believed that the law on privacy compels doctors to restrict access to patients’ medical records. Apparently, the accident could not have occurred if the airline had accurate information on the patients’ poor mental health. Therefore, in this scenario, the doctor should discuss with the pilot how his health condition could risk lives of many people and convince him to share the information with the airline.

Aquinas and Augustine could have solved the dilemma in the same way. Aquinas could have revealed the pilot’s information to the airline. However, he could have made this decision after consulting or discussing with the pilot. According to Aquinas, defining a good or bad act should be based on it prevents people from having a satisfying end. In this case, revealing the information would have saved lives of many patients. Similarly, Augustine could have agreed to disclose the pilot’s information to the company to avoid committing an evil thing. According to Thomas, the world is a battlefield between the good and the evil. However, God created only the good and should be allowed to prosper. In this ethical dilemma, keeping the pilots’ health information confidential was not a good thing because it would cause an accident resulting in death. Apparently, death is evil; hence, Augustine would not have allowed it to happen.


In Miller, A. G. (2016). The social psychology of good and evil.

Veliz, C. (2015). Should pilots’ medical records be available to airlines?. Mail Online. Retrieved 17 July 2017, from

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