Duke University School of Medicine
What is the most significant moral or ethical dilemma that you have faced in your life (excluding academic dishonesty)? Describe how you dealt with and potentially resolve it, including beliefs, resources, individuals, etc. How did this dilemma and its resolution change your life and what, if any, impact will this have on your future as a healthcare provider? (Please note: there are no character limits for this essay)
Ron is an elderly stroke victim who lives alone in a subsidized apartment in downtown Palo Alto. I assisted Ron with daily tasks such as cleaning the apartment, doing laundry, and going to the store. One day, I took Ron to Longs Drugs to buy food and daily supplies. I had gone to the bank with him the previous week to check his account balance, but his lack of spending money had not registered in my mind. He asked me to wheel him to the telephone aisle. He picked up a box and struggled to put it into his bag behind the wheelchair, so I helped him. At the cash register, I placed the items from the shopping basket onto the counter and then proceeded to reach for the phone in his bag. He grabbed my hand and said, “No. No.” I saw the frustrated expression on his face and realized that he was not going to pay for the phone. Why would he put me into such a position? I handed Ron’ debit card to the cashier to pay for the other items and then wheeled him out of the store with the phone in the bag. At his apartment, I sat down, obviously upset by the situation. He looked at me and genuinely said, “Thank you.” I told him, “You’re welcome, but I can’t do that again.”
As I replayed the incident in my mind, I felt guilty that I physically...
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