A Tale of Two Roads
There have been many crossroads in my life where a conflict of duty was presented and I had the obligation to choose what path I was going to take. Some of these situations are trivial, petty, and unimportant, but others have had profound consequences depending on the direction I chose. Many examples I have come across in recent years have been in the medical field. The situations that are posed in medical ethics are some of the most challenging affairs because there is hardly a “clear-cut” right or wrong answer. In these scenarios, the physical and psychological impact of men, women, and children are at stake and yet no apparent or absolute answer can be attained.
One example of a conflict of duty in my life sticks out very clearly, and to this day, there is still a level of concern on whether my choices and actions were correct. It happened one summer as I was working as a Paramedic in a rural area of Texas. In this scenario there was a secluded house on a dead-end street near the edge of the county line. There were no houses within several miles of this residence and scarcely anyone even knew that this house existed. A 911 call came into the call-center of our district from a concerned farmer who had been working in one of his pastures near this house. The farmer stated that he had seen a “small child” wondering around outside of this residence without any clothes on and did not see any guardians nearby. My ambulance and the county deputy police officer were dispatched to the residence to check on the “well-being” of this child and those that lived there.
Upon arriving on scene, we see a three year old child wandering around on the road leading up to the house. The child told us his name, but could not answer any other questions. Thereafter, we entered the house and there were immediate sounds of a child crying and a loud TV blaring, but no adults were seen. After searching the house, a five year old child was found in a...