Ethical Analysis for Head Injuries in Sports
Step 1: Identification and description of facts
Over years, there have been a lot of ethical issues facing the sports industry in all parts of the world. Conflicts of interests have been arising between the players, clubs and the management bodies involved in this field. For instance, the candidates’ competitive desires have been conflicting with the own medical interests and the costs of preventing various injuries with the morbidities. In many occasions, the player’s autonomy and the physician’s responsibility towards promotion of high health standards has been differing. The autonomy of the player to engage in the game, more especially after serious injuries like the head injury is a matter of concern. For instance, according to reports, the National Football League(NFL) in the United States has previously been subjected to court of law over its negligence on the health standards of the players more specifically head injuries. In one of the cases by the former players, the body was found guilty of hiding the effects of severe head trauma. It was propelled in February 2014 by the federal court to compensate the former players who contains symptoms of CTE.
Step 2: Definition of the conflict
Under the player’s principle of autonomy, he/she should be free to make decisions on his/her involvement in a game after a severe head injury. The NFL usually undermine this principle by engaging players in matches even before recovering from such defects or preventing them from playing. There is question regarding the players’ free autonomy, more specifically the responsibility of the players to risks on their own. Should a player engage in a game through the exercise of the principle of autonomy disregarding the physician’s decision? Also, many people are questioning whether or not football is associated with CTE. This is an ethical dilemma that is facing the sporting industry in the recent times.
Step 3: Identification of Stakeholders
Sometimes the player may again develop a more serious concussion of which whom to be blamed will be the question. According to various reports, the NFL should exercise its authority in warning the players against such risks and further advice the club managers not to allow such player to engage in matches. Therefore, the blame to some extent will be laid on the NFL. On the other hand, the player should always consider his/her health before any other aspect of the success of a team. Therefore, the player is the main determinant of how to make use of his/her body and, therefore, should take the major blame.
However in situations whereby children are involved as players and rather not professional players, the case will be analyzed in a more different manner. The blame is fully laid on the NFL. This is because the children are still minors thereby basing a reason the principle of autonomy should be restricted to their coverage.
Step 4: Recommendations
The NFL through their physicians should advise the players accordingly concerning severe injuries. They should totally legislate against the players’ involvement in games in case they contain head injuries and concussions. Also, the players should be introduced to various informative classes on the severe effects of head injuries and the importance of fully recovering from such defects before engaging in games. After that, they should be allowed to decide upon their recovery on whether to engage in matches or not.
Step 5: Potential Consequences to the Recommendations
As far as the players autonomy should be respected and ethical, to some extent it may lead to the creation of more severe problems in the players. Some players may have the desire to play before fully recovering and end up creating severe concussions. Therefore, it should sometimes be controlled. Therefore, the NFL controlling the players from engaging in such matches, could be undermining the principle but happen to be useful in the long run.