The following case study of Johnson and Johnson will present how Johnson and Johnson faced a national crisis when in the fall of 1982 several bottles of Tylenol were laced with cyanide. This resulted in seven deaths around the Chicago area. The crisis became a national development almost immediately. Although the contaminated bottles were confined to the Chicago area this study will show how Johnson and Johnson managed the crisis on a national level.
The study is presented to evaluate how Johnson and Johnson dealt ethically with the crisis. The decisions made by Johnson and Johnson were methodical and in the best interest of the public while sacrificing millions of dollars and possibly the downfall of the company. We will present the highest ethical standards Johnson and Johnson gave to this crisis. We will also present other ethical alternatives that Johnson and Johnson could have taken in this ethical crisis.
Symptom of the Problem
McNeil Laboratory was a division of Johnsons & Johnsons. In September 1982, seven people had died from a painkiller produced by the laboratory (Trevino & Nelson 2004). This painkiller was Tylenol and when ingested by those seven people in Chicago, they suddenly died. Tylenol, a leading painkiller, was under investigation to find out the root cause of these deaths.
Root of the Problem
The root cause of this problem was later uncovered from the investigation. It was known at first what the root cause of the poisoning was, and if it was internal or external sabotage (Trevino & Nelson 2004). After several weeks though, the investigators determined that the batch of pills were laced with cyanide. Cyanide comes in many forms. It is a colorless and odorless gas or crystal, which acts rapidly if ingested or are being exposed to it (CDC 2004). Once the cyanide is inside your body, the following symptoms may occur, up to and including death.
· People exposed to a small amount of cyanide by breathing it, absorbing... [continues]
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