Those involved in making public administrative decisions face ethical decisions every day. One who works in public administration is responsible for approving and going forward with decisions that have great effects on the public. Many public administration representatives use different philosophical elements when making these decisions. A public administration representative uses their own ethics and morals surrounding their decisions to make the best of every situation.
What does this mean for the public? The public is usually the one that suffers or has again as a result of public administrative decisions. Not every decision made will be the right decision. Deciding what decision is right and what is wrong determines the outcome. As stated by Michael Sandel, “is it really fair for 5 people to live at the expense of another?” Who determines what should be right and what should be wrong. Most individuals would say that it is better to spare five lives than one.
If this is true for all scenarios, how much thought actually goes into deciding which life is spared? This is where ethics comes into play and affects decisions.
Since ethics are so powerful when it comes to decision making, much thought must go into any decisions that are permanent and affects others’ lives. Many use their own morals, experiences, and predictions when making these decisions. When it all comes down to it, it is all about survival. Survival has a large effect on the decisions of many. If more people can survive as a result of one decision, many think this is the most acceptable way to handle situations. What most people don’t think about is the one life that was lost to spare five others.
One involved in public administration handles the well being of others. If everyone could benefit all the time, these issues would not be so important. Since everyone cannot always benefit, those working in public administration decide which outcome will be the most beneficial and relate to the largest range of individuals. An example of this would include deciding whether or not to save one organization by getting rid of another. If an organization provides free food to over 100,000 families this organization helps fight hunger and keeps people alive. If the decision is made to either cancel or continue the services to keep another, this will stop 100,000 families from receiving food. Although this sounds drastic, what will the overall benefits be even though many will go hungry? These decisions are faced every day and what is right and what is wrong, depends on who will benefit more. It really is all about ethics!