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You can rehearse your answer to this and other tricky interview questions by attempting a practice interview using resources from our partners at Shortlist.
For this case, treating this single patient means that there will not be enough money to treat all of the other patients who come to the clinic over the course of the year.
In economic terms, we might say that his care is not cost-effective because for the same amount invested in supplying the clinic, we could prevent many more deaths or disability adjusted life years for a greater number of patients.
However, there are two bioethical principles at odds here: beneficence (doing what is best for the individual patient) and justice (doing what is most equitable for a society or group of patients).
What if the situation was framed as follows: if you spend $50,000, you can save the life of this single patient, or you will certainly prevent morbidity for 500 future patients?
between being ambitious and stepping on colleagues – or doing a deal that helps one group of people but not others, indeed perhaps puts others at a disadvantage?
You may feel you’ve never encountered a genuinely challenging ethical dilemma in the workplace.However, if you give this tricky graduate job interview question some thought in advance, you should be able to identify a situation you’ve come across where there could be different points of view about the right course of action.Here are some replies to avoid, as well as an example that could be opened up for further discussion in your interview.What the employer is trying to measure is: The example you choose is far less important than how well you cover the points outlined above.Don’t try to make up a scenario for the interviewer, who will probably be able to tell that you’re being inventive.Failing that, you could make a small cash donation and a one-off larger donation to a charity that has the experts to deal with the bigger picture.Then the smart thing is to link what you’ve said to the workplace.For example, you might observe: ‘For me, this shows that ethical issues are often complex and that applies to ethical issues at work.If there are ethically tough choices to make, I would always want to look at every possible course of action and the consequences of each – and then consult with colleagues before making a decision.’ This both addresses the question posed by the interviewer and provides an answer to another question that you haven’t been asked directly, but which puts you in a good light.Let’s take the candidate’s response we mentioned earlier – ‘I always give money to a homeless person in the street although part of me want to walk on by and keep my money’ – and tease out the issues that could be involved in deciding what to do in that situation.The answer could have launched into the candidate commenting upon: What you need to do is to mesh your observations into a coherent overview.