The given case study delves into the complex issue of conflicting priorities, presenting a challenging dilemma brought about by constraints in time and finances. This scenario highlights the predicament faced by various stakeholders, including Ravi, Asmita, doctors attending to Ravi’s mother, the medical college, and members of society.


(a) Ethical Issues Arising from Conflicting Priorities:

Paucity of Time and Money: The scarcity of both time and financial resources presents a significant ethical concern. The urgency of Ravi’s mother’s medical condition necessitates immediate action, while Asmita’s education hangs in the balance due to impending college admission fees. This creates a moral dilemma that demands careful consideration.

Family Responsibility vs. Social Duty: Ravi is caught between his responsibility to his immediate family, particularly his mother’s health crisis, and his broader social duty towards Asmita’s educational aspirations. This ethical conflict tests his commitment to both personal and societal obligations.

Life vs. Career: The case study underscores the ethical tension between prioritizing the preservation of a life (Ravi’s mother) and fostering a promising career (Asmita’s medical education). This dilemma forces Ravi to weigh the intrinsic value of human life against the long-term potential of education.

(b) Prioritization Based on Urgency and Importance:

In situations involving conflicting responsibilities, individuals often prioritize tasks based on their urgency and importance. This concept is known as the Eisenhower Matrix, which categorizes tasks into four quadrants:

Urgent and Important: Ravi’s mother’s operation falls within this category, as her life is at stake, demanding immediate attention and resources to ensure her well-being.

Important but Not Urgent: Asmita’s college admission, while significant for her future, falls under this category. While not requiring immediate attention, it holds long-term importance.


In conclusion, the ethical dilemmas posed by conflicting priorities in the case study emphasize the intricate interplay between personal obligations and societal commitments. While both Ravi’s mother and Asmita’s education merit consideration, the immediacy of Ravi’s mother’s medical condition justifies prioritizing her well-being.

In instances where life hangs in the balance, ethical decisions must be grounded in compassion and a sense of humanitarian responsibility. The Indian context adds a layer of complexity, where cultural values of filial duty coexist with broader social responsibilities.

Through such dilemmas, individuals like Ravi are challenged to find a harmonious balance between their roles as caregivers and contributors to societal progress.

Legacy Editor Changed status to publish August 14, 2023