Ethical Dilemma Essay

Topics: Sociology, Philosophy, Ethics Pages: 2 (613 words) Published: April 18, 2013
Please review the following scenario and respond to the questions that follow using a minimum of 300 words.

Robert was interested in learning about the workings of professional burglars. Several years ago, he made contact with someone who could put him in touch with a professional burglar, although the burglar had retired several years ago. He contacted this person, who forwarded his interest on to the "retired" professional burglar. The burglar agreed to participate in a series of interviews. The first two interviews went fine, but on the third occasion, his subject indicated that he was planning a burglary in a new development. This was to be a one-time event (rather than a return from retirement) involving burglarizing the home of a wealthy resident in this development. Robert promised his subject anonymity and confidentiality at the outset of his research, but he now had information indicating that a crime was about to be committed.

* What is Robert's responsibility at this point?
* Should he contact the police or warn the people whose house is about to be burglarized? * Is he bound by his commitment to not reveal any of the information he obtained, except in a scientific publication in a journal?

Make sure to include specific material from the sociology Code of Ethics as part of the information you include in your analysis. You may find the Code of Ethics below: American Sociological Association: Code of Ethics
You should be able to click on the "full copy" which is a PDF file and save it to your desktop. The link is also available under the "External Links" button.

Based on the facts presented in this scenario, Robert is faced with a real dilemma. On one hand, he wants to protect the burglar's privacy because he promised to keep all information revealed during the interviews confidential, and it is against a sociologist's code of ethics to reveal his sources. On the other hand, it...
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