Ethical Dilemma Worksheet Essay Sample
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Ethical Dilemma Worksheet Essay Sample
1. What is the ethical issue or problem? Identify the issue succinctly.
The ethical issue is that husband has been convicted but since he went to war he has the capacity of a ten year old and may digress further if he is locked up for longer than a short period of time.
2. What are the most important facts? Which facts have the most bearing on the ethical decision presented? Include any important potential economic, social, or political pressures, and exclude inconsequential facts.
The husband was found guilty and has been convicted. He will further digress if locked up and can thus become a further burden on the criminal justice system because he may get violent.
3. Identify each claimant (key actor) who has an interest in the outcome of this ethical issue. From the perspective of the moral agent—the individual contemplating an ethical course of action—what obligation is owed to the claimant? Why? Claimant
Obligation (owed to the claimant)
Perspective (What does the claimant hope will happen?)
Right to fair treatment and
The husband hopes that he will get off without any jail time.
The Probation officer
Correctly do his job and uphold the justice system rules.
He hopes that he will make a fair decision in regards to the sentencing of the husband.
The right to keep citizens safe from criminals.
The husband will receive the right punishment and he will learn his lesson about drinking and driving.
4. What are two alternatives for the scenario? One alternative can be a wild card that you ordinarily may not consider an option because of potential implications. Both should be within free will and control of the same moral agent. Alternative A
The husband gets has to spend the 90 days in jails.
The husband is sentenced to home confinement and has to be placed on a mandatory drug and alcohol treatment from the court. He should be placed on a 1 year probation period. 5. Respond to the following questions based on your developed alternatives.
What are the best- and worst-case scenarios if you choose this alternative?
The best case scenario is that the husband doesn’t digress any further than he has and has no violent outburst while he is locked up. The worst case scenario is that the husband further digresses and becomes a bigger problem by breaking more laws.
The husband gets treatment and completes his probation successfully and gets his alcohol problem under control. The worst case scenario is he doesn’t learn is lesson and has to appear back in court. Will anyone be harmed if this alternative is chosen? If so, how will they be harmed? Consider families and derivative effects. The husband could possibly be harmed and correction officers and other inmates. The husband could hurt himself during and outburst and make his condition worse. He would also hurt the correction officers and other inmates if he has an outbreak and his condition gets worse.
It is possible that the husband won’t get better but isn’t highly likely that anyone will get hurt in this alternative. His family can still be together and his wife can help him with his alcohol treatment. Would honoring an idea or value—such as personal, professional, or religious—make the alternative invalid?
No, by giving the husband time he would be doing his job.
The value of doing what’s best in the eyes of the law and other individuals who may be involved in the long run Are there any rules, laws, or principles that support the alternative? Are there rules, laws, or principles that make the alternative invalid? State the rule or principle and indicate if it invalidates or supports the alternative.
The standard sentencing for a third offence is 90 days. Principles on the husband health issues could make this alternative invalid.
There are no written rules that supports this alternative but he could get no time for this conviction.
Applying Ethical Guidelines
6. Consider each ethical guideline and explain whether it would support or reject your alternative. Guidelines based on the action itself
Should this alternative become a rule or policy that everyone in this situation should follow in similar situations in the future? (Kant) If a person does a crime then in retrospect they should do the time. No this shouldn’t become a rule the husband does have a special circumstance. Does this alternative result in using any person as a means to an end without consideration for his or her basic integrity? (Kant) No
Is the intent of this action free from vested interest or ulterior motive? (Kant’s good will) Yes
Does this alternative demonstrate a genuine concern for others affected by the decision, and is the moral agency responding to a perceived need? No, It disregards the husband’s mental health concern.
Guidelines based on consequences
Is the good that results from this alternative outweighed by the potential harm that might be done to others? (Mill’s harm principle) No
Is any harm brought about by anyone other than the moral agent? (causal harm) Maybe, the husband may cause harm to others.
No harm with come to the moral agent.
Will anyone be harmed who can be said to be defenseless? (paternalism) The husband in a sense is defenseless because he has the capacity of a ten year old.
No one will be harmed who is considered defenseless with this alternative. To what degree is this alternative based on the moral agent’s own best interest? (ethical egoism) The moral agent doesn’t have a best interest but the fact that he will have followed the standard sentencing. The agent will have another person on his case load for another year. He isn’t letting him off so the husband will get some form of punishment. Which alternative will generate the greatest benefit—or the least amount of harm—for the greatest number of people? Select only one alternative. (utilitarianism)
Alternative B will cause the least amount of harm.
Ethical Decision Making
7. Choose to proceed with either Alternative A or Alternative B and explain the reasons for your decision.
I will have to choose alternative B because the husband will receive a form of punishment that is understood on his level of rational thinking. The alcohol program will help him with his drinking problem and the year of supervision should help keep him out of trouble. Alternative B will also be beneficial for the husband so he doesn’t create further mental health issues.