In October 2010, the United Nations brought an epidemic to the already unstable nation of Haiti. This epidemic is referred to as the cholera epidemic which struck Haiti over two years ago. The epidemic was caused by UN troops dumping human waste into Haiti’s main drinking water supply. More than 7,600 Haitians have died, and 60,000 have been affected with sickness because of this. Before this, cholera had not been in Haiti for over one hundred years, if ever. Due to the unfortunate reality that Haiti is one of the poorest countries this issue could only be fixed by an outside source. The United Nations, could, for one billion dollars, the same price that they have spent in one year to keep their ten thousand troops in Haiti, could be fixing the epidemic and saving lives.
Student Researcher: Bradley Tandy, Indian River State College
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen, Ph.D., Indian River State College
“Mark Weisbrot, The Guardian, Truthout. (webpage) – Tuesday 13, November 2012.
Numerous ethical issues arise in this story and the most undeniable fact is that the United Nations needs to pay for the harm it has caused the Nation of Haiti. With that being said it should retract its troops form the country, due to the fact that they are unnecessary and cause more emotional and physical harm than that they help to solve problems. The reality of these problematic issues would ultimately be the deaths and sickness that have occurred, with diseases that are in fact curable. In addition to the disease being curable, it is curable at the same expense that the United Nations spends yearly on keeping its troops in Haiti. This problem is an ethical issue due to the lives it is taking when in fact the entire issue at hand could be solved by the ones who caused it.
The United Nations (UN) is not taking every measure it can in order to maximize the welfare of the Haitian population. In fact the UN is doing the opposite: causing a deadly epidemic it is entrusted to protect and allowing it to continue.
An ethical breach occurred when the first life was taken. Although no exact violations of law were made, the thought of the UN dumping its waste into the native’s drinking water should be considered as such. However, the most problematic and heartbreaking of them all is the obvious cure to this epidemic, clean water. Ultimately the blame falls on the UN, once again. And an additional conflict of interest is introduced to this already problematic situation when the idea of removing the troops comes into play: the fact that the United Nations believes they are helping, and the people of Haiti believe they are causing more harm than good. However, Haiti should ultimately be run by its people, and important decisions such as this should not be decided by other nations. All in all, violation of rights, physical harm, and emotional harm should all be taken into account when considering this issue and the unprecedented reality that the United Nations should pack up and leave Haiti before they cause more harm. Considering lives have been taken, and money squandered, what is the objective for theses soldiers? To the public eye they have only made situations worse by contaminating the water and infecting the Hatian people with
curable diseases that they cannot afford to fix on their own. Haitian cholera victims are seeking compensation from the United Nations, pressing it to accept responsibility for its actions. The United Nations has already been granted $230 million and yet are now pleading for an additional $53.9 million just to get the vulnerable population through the next few rainy months. The actions needed to be taken by the UN are costing the lives of the Haitian people and continue to raise further ethical problems. The United Nations needs to act quickly by granting Haiti the freedom it needs and bring in clean supplies of drinking water to the population. Hospitals need to be constructed so that the damage caused by the United Nations can finally start to take a turn in the right direction. Due to the UN and its irrational and unethical decisions, it has left Haiti with much trouble. The United Nations must cure Haiti of the cholera epidemic it caused and bring an end to this suffering.