Ethical Dilemmas There are 2 types of Ethical Dilemmas Right versus Wrong Right versus Right Right Verses Wrong is… A situation where there is definitely a right course of action and a wrong course of action. Example: Someone steals money from their company to perpetuate their own lifestyle. Resolution: Charge and convict them of a crime Right versus Right There are two or more possible choices to resolving a situation. All seem to be right and have positive and negatives. Example: You catch a friend, who is getting an A in math, cheating on an exam. This friend needs a high final mark to get a scholarship. However, you are also in the class and know that the class works hard to get the marks they get. You are torn – Truth: Your friend cheats to do well vs. Loyalty to your friend. 4 Forms of Ethical Dilemmas Truth vs. Loyalty Individual vs. Community Short-term vs. Long-Term Justice vs. Mercy Some Simple Resolution Principles Do what’s best for the greatest number of people (ends-based thinking). Follow your highest sense of principle (or rule based thinking). Do what you want others to do for you (or care-based thinking). Debate Number 1 Truth vs. Loyalty As a professional working for a large defence electronics firm, Stan found himself riding a roller coaster of concern about layoffs. Every few years, it seems, top management slashed jobs as work slacked off, only to hire again when times started looking up. Stan’s boss, however, was a good friend – and also a big talker. Stan had no problems asking him about his future. The boss mentioned that if the company was to slash jobs, Stan friend and team member, Jim, would lose his job. Days later, Jim approaches Stan asking if he could confirm that he was about to lose his job. Stan also knows that Jim is also down on his luck and owes a lot of money. What does Stan do? Does he honor confidentially or tell Jim? Debate Number 2 Individual vs. Community The operator of a nursing home in California received a letter from a nearby hospital, where his elderly residents typically went for medical attention. The letter reminded him that five of his residents had recently had surgery at the hospital. It also informed him that some of the blood used may have been tainted with a very scary disease. While making it clear that probabilities of infection were very low, the letter asked him to call the five to arrange further testing. However, if the nursing home operator does this, he knows that the staff at the hospital would probably refuse care to the 5 since they are afraid of the disease. However, if he did not call, and 1 of the 5 has the disease, he would be responsible. Does he call the 5 or just ignore it? Debate Number 3: Short Term verse Long Term Andy found a solid job, married, and had two sons. 12 years later, he moved to another company that promised steady advancement within its managerial ranks. A devoted family man, he admired his wife’s dedication to raising his sons. But he also observed that his sons needed more fatherly advise as they got older. However, he also loved his work and was offered an upper management position. The only requirement was that he start his MBA – which would require two years of weekends and nights going to class. Does he think of his family or his career first? Debate Number 4: Justice vs. Mercy An Senior editor of a newspaper hired a young woman for the food page. She had come from one of the best colleges. She had always seemed to write amazing stories and was very popular. One day, however, the Food Editor came to the Senior Editor’s desk and showed that the young writer had plagiarized a story about blueberries. Should the Sr. Editor immediately fire the young writer or give her a chance?