Busted Halo
feature: moral dilemmas
November 9th, 2010

Moral Dilemma #3: The Drummer and the Drug Rep



Need to get up to speed with the first part of the dilemma? Read it here and vote or comment before moving on to The Wrinkle.

Now we’d like to complicate the story just a bit more by telling you what happened next…

The Wrinkle

Kara tells Robert to stay where he is and makes him promise not to do anything to hurt himself. She gets in her car and immediately heads over to Robert’s apartment. While in the car she decides that she will ask one of the doctors she knows to see Robert and — if the physician believes Robert needs medication — she will provide the samples.

Robert is clearly glad to see her when she arrives. Kara offers to take him to the emergency room but Robert tells her that he feels better now that she is there. As far as Kara can tell, he does seem calmer and less desperate than he was on the phone but she is uncomfortable leaving him by himself right now. She sits down on his couch and begins to talk with him about what he’s been going through.

The way Robert describes it, his life over the past four years sounds like an emotional roller coaster marked by bouts of anxiety and depression that have occassionally become suicidal. The way he describes his family history, it sounds like his father had real problems with alcohol that led to his early death. In addition, Robert’s mother commited suicide five years ago.

Make your choice here.
What’s the right thing to do?

Click here to take the quiz.

  • Take the job but put herself and her company at risk by trying to help Robert anyway
  • Take the job, but back off her offer to help Robert (he seems relatively uninterested now anyway)…she will just try to keep an eye on him
  • Use the new money she makes to buy health insurance for Robert
  • Turn down the job for “personal reasons” and go through with what she promised, hoping she won’t get caught
  • Take the job and tell Robert about her new predicament and hope that he’ll understand and find help elsewhere

None of these sound right to you? Want to qualify one of the above answers?

Time for you to decide. What’s the right thing for Kara to do?

Read the results so far.

Kara tells Robert that she has decided to ask a physician to see him for free and that, if necessary, she will be able to get him medication as well. He tells her that he appreciates the thought and that he’ll think about it, but now that he’s feeling calmer he thinks that maybe he just needed to be with a friend.

Over the next two days Kara continues to try to convince him to take the help she offered. At the end of a particularly long day she is called into her boss’s office where she is told that, due to a shake-up at the company, some positions were now vacant and they were giving her a promotion to be a supervisor for reps spread over a three-state area.

The promotion means a lot more responsibilty as well as a decent pay increase (tied in part to the performance of the reps she will supervise.) It turns out that the “shake-up” at the company that led to this offer was caused by improper promotional practices between some of her company’s reps and doctors. As a way to avoid serious penalties, her company has told the government that they would institute much stricter oversight on their drug reps’ relationships with doctors.

The new job would involve more money, which would enable Kara to pay off her substantial student loans as well as lead a more comfortable life. She may even be able to get out from behind the eight ball financially enough to think long term about getting into medical school herself so she can help people more directly.

The new job would also mean that Kara would be responsible for making sure the drug reps she supervises don’t engage in the kind of practices she promised Robert she would do on his behalf.

Time for you to decide again. What’s the right thing for Kara to do now?

Read the original dilemma.

Already read parts one and two? Read our expert’s analysis of the dilemma and your responses.

Pages: 1 2 3

The Author : Bill McGarvey
Bill McGarvey is co-author of Busted Halo’s Freshman Survival Guide. Bill was editor-in-chief of Busted Halo for six year. In addition to having written extensively on the topics of culture and faith for NPR, Commonweal, America, The Tablet (in London), Factual (Spain), Time Out New York, and Book magazine, McGarvey is a singer/songwriter whose music has been critically acclaimed by the New York Times, Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Billboard and Performing Songwriter. You can follow him at his website billmcgarvey.com or on Facebook.com/billmcgarvey
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • http://www.apple.com/iPhone/specs.HTML RockyMissouri

    She should never have divulged that she carries pills of any sort. She should be a friend and take him to an emergency room…find a list of support groups who meet and share their progress and advice – all through proper auspices- be quite careful NOT to substitute religion for an opiate… instead, opt for healthier avenues: information- information- information is key to a healthy psyche.

  • Wayne Cox

    Let me say first. That I am not telling anyone to not seek professional help. However I suffered greatly from depression. Was put on antidepressants. Spent time in a mental health ward. This may well have stopped me from commiting suicide. But little else in actually curing me.
    After losing my job and insurance. I went to work for my sister. I was just existing. Not much ambition or interest in life. While flipping through channels I would come across Christian channels and stop and listen for awhile. I did not really care for much of what they said. I won’t go into details it’s not important. What I did do is get a Bible and started to read, to see if I saw what I heard these TV preachers saying. I didn’t read much of the old testament and skipped to the new testament. After reading the Gospels I told my sister that there was alot in the Gospels that did not jive with what I heard Christians saying. What I did learn has turned my life around. First of all I try to live every moment of life by the Two Greatest Commandments. LOVE! Unconditional univerisal LOVE! LOVE as I did as a child. I no longer worry about others love for me. Thats not what I,ve been commanded to do. I work hard at not judging others. It helps me not to judge others when I remember what I did and went through to get to the point where Jesus could teach me. So when I see someone who I know is harming themselves, and others, through their behavior I know at some point they may sink low enough to be teachable. I can’t describe the freedom this has given me. I live in the moment not worrying about the past or future. Only trying to do Gods will at this moment. LOVE is magical the more you give it away the more you get. LOVE is what has curred my depression. The more I LOVE the better I feel. Even if you’re not depressed, try it, the magic is there for everyone of us. Forgive me for not answering the question. I believe that only we can decide if we are going to be happy or not. I do believe that everyone is effected when spending time with a truly loving person. May more of us become so, we can cure the world with LOVE!

  • Meg

    Robert needs people in his life that care about him, but if he feels like he might hurt himself he needs to be in the care of medical professionals who can give him te best help he can get. While she might want to try and take care of him herself, she can’t know if it’s simply a temorary condition that will easy with time and maybe therapy, or if its clinical depression, in which case medication would help him cope. In the end, meds aren’t the answer, he needs help, love, support, and God. Therefore, she should go with #3. If he fears injuring himself, offer to take him to get hepol to prevent it; it shows she truly cares about him and his wellbeing. Then be there for him as a friend and pray for him. But she should NEVER try to take the situation into her own hands, instead offer to help him find pepople who are trained to hepl in situations like this. And most of all, never give up on him.

  • Matt

    If he’s going to be taking drugs, he needs a doctor to supervise that, not a marketing department rep. She might want to give him the number of one of the doctors that she personally knows for an absolute fact to have free samples of her company’s drug, but her primary role in his life is that of a friend.

    Go with answer #2. Be his friend. Help him stay connected to the human race. If he has that, it might turn out he doesn’t even need the drugs. As long as he lacks it, the drugs will (at best) mask the real problem.

    I’m not a drummer, but otherwise I’ve been where Robert is. He might or might not benefit from pills, but what he really desperately and urgently needs…what he’ll die from the lack of, if not remedied soon, is friends who care enough not to fob him off on a third party or a pill bottle.

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