Ethical Issues Within the American Red Cross

Ethical Issues Within the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross (ARC) is an organization that was founded in 1881 by Clara Barton and established itself as the most well-known emergency relief organization devoted to the care of war victims, disaster victims, and the suffering worldwide.   Unfortunately, the ARC has been plagued with a high executive turnover, slow response to disastrous events, and mismanagement of donation funds. These problems now have the ARC facing another problem, fixing their credibility for the future.
The Red Cross is built to aide in disaster relief, but to receive a phone call asking “Where is the Red Cross?” from the Pentagon to activate the specialized teams in response to 9/11 left scars on the ARC's permanent record that are hard to overcome (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell pg 330).   On top that, four years later criticism over the massive failures of communication in Hurricane’s Katrina and Rita created additional wounds to the ARC’s reputation.   Each instance further degraded the ARC’s ethical reputation to American’s as the non-profit organization to turn to in a disaster.   To overcome these faults the ARC has made changes, but too many changes at the top is the ultimate reason for the ARC’s failures.
Any member working for the ARC in a management position from local presidents to top executives and state delegates are supposed to be ruled under universal humanitarian principles which involve the highest standards in ethics and values.   Sadly, since the resignation of Elizabeth Dole in 1999, the ARC has had seven different permanent or acting heads causing multiple systemic and ethical problems (Ferrell, Fraedrich, & Ferrell, pg 328-239).   Each of these enlightened egotists gladly accepted their severance packages upon their departure in spite of the abominable failure to successfully follow the ARC's fundamental mission of preventing and relieving suffering (American Red Cross). With each payment the ARC showed its employees that strong ethical values were not...

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