Danielle Ofri’s Insight On Ethics.
Before laws existed, people did what they deemed was correct. Could it be that simple? “Common Ground” is a short story by Danielle Ofri. It’s about a doctor who is hired at a Catholic hospital. At this hospital, they do not condone abortions or provide referrals for them. The doctor finds herself in a tough situation where her professionalism is put up against her personal duty to her patients. The story may seem to be solely about abortion and religion but there is a deeper meaning to it. The purpose of Ofri’s essay is to refine the line between rules and morals. Not only that, but through her personal experiences she provides support for anyone who is feeling alone.
When author, Danielle Ofri, first arrives at her new job, she finds herself feeling distant. “This was a different planet from my native New York City” (Ofri 116). She is not accustomed to driving a car and the lack of people in her new environment. A feeling of loneliness is interpreted from her thoughts. Despite her unfamiliar surroundings, Ofri begins seeing patients and is quite pleased with her set up. It is not until she meets Diana Makower, a young woman who claims to be pregnant, that she is faced with a dilemma. Diana insists she is not ready for her pregnancy and abortion is her only option. As a doctor at this medical institution, following the rules would require her to tell Diana to call her insurance company. Instead, she worries about her “…ethical duty to provide the care [her] patient [needs]” (Ofri 118). The author then goes on to say “It seemed clear to me that my duty was first to my patient, and second only to some faceless institution” (Ofri 118). Even though she is breaking protocol, her instinct was to help her patient out. She knew the possible consequences and acted upon her own jurisdiction. Unfortunately, the author is unable to recommend a qualified physician to perform the surgery because of her unfamiliarity with the area....
Cited: Ofri, Danielle. “Common Ground.” The Best Of The Best American Science Writing. Ed. Jesse Cohen. HarperCollins: New York City, 2010. 115-125. Print.
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