Blair L Colbert
PHI 445: Personal and Organizational Ethics
Instructor: Tim Carter
29 Oct 12
For this paper, I will profile two companies; a for profit company and a not for profit company. The for profit company I have chosen is Cigna Health Care, which is one of the nation’s leading health insurance companies. The not for profit company I have chosen is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals or the ASPCA. I will compare two ethical situations that the companies faced, how the situations were handled, and the outcome from both of these situations. I will also critique the actions of both companies’ decisions and explain where both companies made good and bad decisions. COMPANY PROFILE (NOT FOR PROFIT)
PROFILE OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS (ASPCA)(Franz, 2005) The not for profit company I have chosen for this assignment is the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. This company was founded in 1866 by Henry Bergh and was the first humane organization founded in the western hemisphere. Today, it is one of the largest humane organizations in the world. Their area of interest is nationwide with a focus to rescue animals from abuses, pass humane laws and share resources with shelters. The mission statement is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.” Some of the activities they participate in include community outreach, animal health services, and anti-cruelty initiatives. The ASPC is privately funded, but also receives donations which are solicited in various ways like television commercials and online advertisements. The core values center around the belief “that animals were entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of human and must be protected under the law.” The ASPCA is headquartered in New York City, and sponsors more than 13,000 shelters and animal control organizations. This is a 501c.)(3) Company, however the exact date this status was achieved is not published. There are 44 top level positions within the organization, split between the Senior Leadership and the Board of Directors. There are more than one million volunteers and full time staff members nationwide. One of the challenges this company faces is that officially, they are marketed as a no-kill shelter. Only in extreme circumstances do they euthanize an animal. However, there have been documented cases in which animals that could have been saved were euthanized. This affects the credibility of the organization with the public as the ASPCA is a very well-known organization in which the public entrusts that the company will always act in a humane way when dealing with the animals. One of the three contrasting features of moral objectivism is “Moral standards are unchanging: Moral standards are eternal and do not change throughout time or from location to location. No matter where you are in the world or at what point in history, the same principles apply.”(Fieser, Moseley 2012) Burgh, as the original founder would not have agreed to the practices that the company has been accused recently. The major moral dilemma presented for this company is not only portraying the same image they have always portrayed since the companies birth, and regulating the practices of all of the associated shelters. Usually when there is an incident at a shelter, it is an isolated incident. The biggest controversy dealing with the ethics of being a no-kill shelter and properly euthanizing an animal is the story of “Oreo” the Pit Bull. This dog was thrown six stories from a Brooklyn rooftop, and was found with two broken legs. After nursing the dog back to health, the dog showed signs of being psychologically abused. The dog was extremely aggressive and failed all rehabilitation attempts so the ASPCA made the decision to euthanize the dog to prevent any potential danger to...