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The Constant Gardener

The ethical dilemma on the fore front of the movie, The Constant Gardener, is the social responsibility of a multinational corporation.  The African community is under the perception the company is benefiting the population, but they know few of the facts, and in truth, the so-called good deed is doing great harm to the population.  In the movie, a pharmaceutical company is offering free medicine to AIDS patients at the expense of turning them into human guinea pigs by testing out a highly experimental drug for TP at the same time.  The thought of the foreign company is African lives are garbage, they will be wasted anyways, they are disposable.

There are many things found in Africa which make it a prime spot for this type of corruption.  Africa has a weak government, police corruption is abundant, and hospitals are overwhelmed.  Africa has an extremely low standard of living and one of the world’s highest death rates.  These elements make Africa the perfect breeding ground for business corruption.  Although the movie follows a fictional story line, the inhumanity expressed through the willingness to sacrifice innocent lives is not illusory.

This is definitely a winner take all situation.  The pharmaceutical company’s desire to be the first on the market is nothing unique to this company.  This goal is found in every market everywhere around the world.  What makes this situation distinctive is the thought that lives of Africans are no good, a belief which would not be found about members of a first world country.  And to make matters worse members of the African community have no voice on the global stage.  They have no way to reach out to the world and express the wrongdoing.

This leads to another issue found in the movie.  At the first sight of a conspiracy toward a MNC, and individual is placed in the spotlight.  This individual is watched like a hawk and one step too many will often result in the most severe punishment, death.  This type of business to maintain a company’s reputation just to keep instigators quiet is not found in first world countries, at least to the severity it is in Africa.   The little technology found in Africa and the lack of police force allow for these crimes to fly under the radar.

Just because it can happen does not mean it should.  Social responsibility is not required by law, but inhumane acts such such as sacrificing innocent lives, and getting rid of those who speak out against the well being of an organization should be punishable by law.  These types of winner take all acts carried out by MNC’s who think they are bigger and better must be obliterated.

~ by Brianna on .

2 Responses to “The Constant Gardener”

  1. I watched this movie as well. I could not believe the way the government treated those people. You’re right, they were the guinea pigs to the testing of the TB cure. People should not be treated this way and Tess was right to try and fix the problem.
    I agree that the social responsibility aspect should be considered. People should not feel okay with killing others for no reason.

  2. It can be upsetting to watch this movie, but you sure did a great job analyzing it. You clearly see the corruption and lack of responsibility on the part of the MNC. What still amazes me is that in Kenya, people can die and be murdered and it is no big deal. That is, I guess, part of the reason that the drug company comes to Africa for its illegal experiments.