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Mitigation Issues, Essay Example

Pages: 3

Words: 710

Essay

In a very real sense, mitigation is a process perpetually occurring within behaviors.  People invariably mitigate all the time, and on a wide variety of levels. In verbal terms, it is an ongoing, fine-tuning device that works to achieve comprise between what the speaker wishes to say and what the listener is willing to hear (Locher, Graham, 2010, p. 255).  Mitigation, while inherently interactive, is also largely reactive, and evolves to meet each alteration in the interchange.  This being the case, there is also an inevitable factor of gradation present in each circumstance, as the actual degree of mitigation depends on the verbal and non-verbal responses generated in the interaction.  This is as true of business affairs as it is of personal relationships, as mitigation exists as essentially a model addressing mutual awareness and goals, and from the trivial to the critical.

When mitigation applies to scenarios in which public healthy and/or safety is concerned, the situation invariably becomes more complex.  To begin with, mitigation, certainly in cases where the public health is threatened, must vary to accommodate specific cases and areas.  For example, in 2002, the United States government requested that every state prepare for a smallpox attack, and the states were then obligated to mitigate the vaccination courses to be taken with consideration of each population or region.  Community response was dictated in a stratified way, as each community investigated what plans of preventive action would best meet its needs (Ciottone, 2006,  p. 141). Here, as is likely in other cases of widespread mitigation as necessary, the process must also shift in terms of degree.  More exactly, it seems far more probable that individuals would voluntarily surrender greater degrees of privacy and convenience when the threat is more imminent.  Conversely, it is equally likely that, when the health risk is badly defined or not immediately threatening, the public would insist on greater mitigation from the authorities.  Just as in personal mitigation, the emphasis on compromise lies with the which party has the greater urgency.

This acknowledged, it nonetheless is necessary that any such procedures be conducted in a participatory way.  If there is a danger requiring public quarantine, those with the authority to enact the quarantine are obligated to both inform all individuals concerned as to the exact situations, and obtain feedback from them.  The nature of mitigation calls for an ethically mandated and democratic process (Godschalk, Beatley, Berke, Brower, & Kaiser, 1998, p. 517).

This is particularly important in a culture, like that of the U.S., which is held by its citizens to fully empower individual rights and choices.  While most people would not resist participating in mitigation when a severe health risk is present, it is equally true that they would insist on a mitigating form of governmental cooperation; the mitigation here, then, lies is encouraging a public willingness to comply, and perhaps sacrifice privacy, because the risk is honestly presented as fully as possible. Consequently, ethical behavior on the part of the authorities reflects an awareness of practicality as well, since people are usually not inclined to willingly surrender personal privacy.

This same, cooperative process regarding public mitigation is in evidence in concerns other than health.  For example, New York has recently established an Identity Theft and Mitigation Program, to educate and protect individuals and businesses in the modern arenas wherein access renders private information vulnerable.  Mitigation is present in the form of increasing awareness as to measures recommended to avoid risk, just as a further mitigating factor is offered by the individual being entitled to compensation, when costs are incurred through identity theft  (Hoffman, McGinley, 2010,  pp. 71-72).   As with health risks and quarantine issues, degree of threat establishes what levels of mitigation are required, and just which party is more obligated to compromise.  What is clearly pivotal in all these situations is that the mitigation ultimately goes to the best interests of all concerned.

References

Ciottone, G. R.  (2006).  Disaster Medicine.  New York: Elsevier Health Services.

Godschalk, D., Beatley, T.,  Berke, P., Brower, D., & Kaiser, E. J.  (1998).  Natural Hazard  Mitigation: Recasting Disaster Policy and Planning.  Washington D.C.: Island Press.

Hoffman, S. K., & McGinley, T. G. (2010). Identity Theft: A Reference Handbook.  Santa Barbara:  ABC-CLIO.

Locher, M. A., & Graham, S. L.  (2010). Interpersonal Pragmatics.  New York: Walter de Gruyter.

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