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Utilitarian Analysis and Respect for Persons Theory Applied to Workforce Redeployment during Public


Please, read the following article. Once you have read the article, type your analysis (single-spaced) below the article. The approximate length of the analysis should be around 2-3 single-spaced pages altogether. Your answer should consist of two parts answering the questions below.

1. Apply the utilitarian analysis. Follow the steps: identify the audience, estimate preference satisfaction if the rule is adopted, estimate preference satisfaction if it is not; consider alternatives; pass the judgement. (10 points)

2. Apply Respect for Persons theory to the case.  Apply the negative means/ends test: If the rule is adopted, will it undermine the freedom and well-being of any parties involved? Apply the positive means ends test: If the rule is adopted, will it lead to a failure to assist, where such an obligation exists? Consider if the alternative rule would pass the tests. Pass judgement. (10 points) 

“During public health emergencies, government should be allowed to use some coercion to force minimally prepared and protected medical personnel to work in unrelated medical fields where risk of death exists, when it can reduce the death rate among some vulnerable groups”

Kate McKenna · CBC News · Posted: Apr 25, 2020 5:16 PM ET | Last Updated: April 25 (modified for the purpose of analysis)

After 2-hour course, staff with no medical training were dispatched to residences hit hard by COVID-19.  Ruth's day job mostly involves helping children stop stuttering, but as of this week, her career took a sharp right turn — she is one of hundreds of health-care workers being forced to work in the province's long-term care homes.

This week, staff with the West-Central Montreal regional health authority, including physiotherapists, social workers, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists, were told they were being redeployed to long-term care homes.

The province of Quebec is trying to mitigate a crisis unfolding inside the homes, known by the French-language acronym "CHSLD." It issued an edict saying public health-care workers may be dispatched to the residences to help with a pervasive lack of staffing. Some 80 per cent of the deaths in Quebec are linked to the seniors' homes, which have been hit particularly hard in the Montreal area.

CBC News spoke with two employees in this position, but is withholding their identities because they fear professional repercussions for going public. "Ruth" and "Alexis" are Montreal-area health professionals that give therapy for people with physical impairments. Neither are medically trained.

No guarantee of adequate PPE (personal protective equipment)

Both women said they received a two-hour training session before they were supposed to be dispatched to a CHSLD. That's woefully inadequate, they said: staff were going into a totally new environment — many, if not the majority, have not worked in geriatric care.

They were told they'd be working as assistants to patient attendants, known in Quebec as PABs. In addition, they were told they'd only be given cloth masks — and in some cases, surgical gowns — despite being asked to work inside homes with COVID-19 outbreaks. "Everyone was so shocked," Alexis said.

If there was adequate protective equipment, Alexis said she would feel comfortable in the new role —but she left the training feeling unprotected and unready to go into a long-term care home. Ruth and Alexis both said they were shown how to put on a mask during the training, but weren't given masks to practise.

Ruth said the masks they were shown were not the same type of masks that were available at the long-term care facility where she is now working.

Risk of getting fired

Ruth and Alexis said employees were not given a say in their assignment — and that many are being sent to the worst-hit CHSLDs in Quebec. …"[The instructor] even said in the training, if you refuse to go, you'll be fired. She said it very nonchalantly," said Alexis.

Ruth was also told that if she refused to work, her contract could be terminated. "It didn't even seem like an option. It is what it is. There was no discussion," she said.

Redeployment 'not optional'

In its statement, the West-Central Montreal regional health authority said "we are aware that redeployment of staff can cause stress and anxiety. We are doing our best to support our colleagues working in Long Term Care sites."

It goes on to say that the redeployment is not optional, and that it was decided by a ministerial decree due to the present health crisis.

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