Ethical Situations

Your answer to Ethics 2, exit standard 3, situation 5

As there are only 4 situations listed for Ethics 2, Question 3, I’m not sure which one is actually requested here, I’m including Situation 4, and you may find all my responses to the situations from that course here.

Ethics 2: Question 3: Situation 4
A young woman from your local Neo-Pagan community contacts you and expresses a desire to attend your Grove’s upcoming high day; however, she explains that she is in a wheel chair and has an uncontrolled seizure disorder. Another local Neo-Pagan group had explained to this individual that they were unable to accommodate her needs at this time. The young woman plans to bring her personal care attendant with her, but the attendant is opposed to Neo-Pagan beliefs and does not want to actually participate in the service and plans to wait outside the ritual area. Your regular outside ritual space is not readily handicap accessible and the ritual is planned for this outdoor space. What do you do?

a) Explain how you would utilize your problem solving process to resolve the situation. Discuss an effective resolution and why you believe the resolution would be effective (100 words minimum)

The problem that I identify for this situation is that the ritual space does not meet the woman’s needs. This is an issue of accessibility. Possible solutions may include telling the woman that we can’t accommodate her needs, moving or rearranging the current ritual space, or telling the woman that on this short notice we don’t have the ability to accommodate her needs, but will need time to make the space accessible to her wheelchair and invite her to the next public ritual. While the second option is the best option, if the space is already not handicap accessible, the likelihood of our Grove being able to make it so without switching locations on short notice (near impossible to do in our parks system) is very unlikely. Therefore, the most likely solution for this situation is to discuss with the woman what specific accessibility needs she has (ramps, distance from parking lot, etc.) and arrange for those accommodations to be made at the next ritual. Even if this particular woman does not show up again, it is an important modification to make regardless.

b) Discuss how your personal Code of Ethics was utilized in the resolution of the issue presented. (100 words minimum)

My own personal Code of Ethics relates to my resolution regarding this situation in a couple of ways. First, “I will lead others to the flame” means in part that I will do what I am able to do in order to ensure that all can experience the relationship they desire with the Kindreds. Second, “I will be kind to someone.” This situation goes beyond mere kindness in my opinion and is more akin to civil rights. Being kind means that I will grant all basic human rights to individuals, and this means as a Priest I should provide access to a person’s desire to experience this spirituality as much as I am able (Avende). My decision relates to the Clergy Council Code of Ethics in multiple aspects. Under Service, “The Priest has a responsibility to provide service to the Folk.” This does not specify which Folk are worthy of expending the effort to provide service. Additionally, the Clergy Council Code of Ethics specifically focuses on non-discrimination, stating “The Priest has a responsibility to promote inclusivity, diversity, and non-discrimination; additionally, our clergy should promote the respect, self-worth, and dignity of individuals” (ADF Clergy Council). This means that we have a duty to make an attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for all members and potential members of our community.

c) Discuss whether you would consider the situation to be an “ethical dilemma?” Why or why not? (100 words minimum)

This is not an ethical dilemma because it doesn’t conflict with either my personal Code of Ethics or with the Clergy Council Code of Ethics. This may be a difficult situation, depending on what kind of accommodations are needed, and it may be an awkward conversation with both the woman, and perhaps with her non-Pagan caretaker, but it is not an ethical dilemma. Every person has a right to pursue the spiritual path that they feel called for, and they have a right to expect reasonable accommodation to be made for that if they have a disability. It may take some work and some time to figure out how to meet those needs, but it is not an ethical dilemma.

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