Ethical Dilemma

Good Essays
When Somebody Else’s Right-versus-Wrong Decision puts you in a Right-versus-Right Dilemma
Robin L Heath
John Brown University

To steal, one takes property that does not belong to them, without permission, particularly when the property is taken secretly or by force (steal, n.d.). By placing the items in her backpack, and removing the items from the facility without authorization, Toni’s actions undoubtedly fit the definition of stealing. This is obvious unethical behavior, and Lisa has an ethical obligation to report Toni’s actions. By reporting the act, Lisa is following through with the value system socially accepted by the bigger portion of society (Moran, Harris & Moran, 2007). “You shall not steal,” (Exodus 20:15, NIV). Not only is this one of the Ten Commandments from the Bible, it is also a law that is punishable. This commandment provides a blueprint of norms and behaviors that are morally and ethically acceptable, in nearly every culture (Adeney, 1995, p. 91-92). This blueprint is laid out in the legal principles that govern our daily actions, and generally in the cultural guidelines taught from childhood. So, not only are Toni’s actions unethical, but they are also illegal, giving Lisa even more assurance that a decision to report the theft is simply the right thing to do.
Be not witness against thy neighbor without cause, and deceive not with thy lips,” ("The Bible Promise Book.", 1986, p. 101). Lisa has a just cause to report Toni’s unethical deeds. The hospital faces a financial loss, whether significant or not, from Toni’s theft. Over time, this loss could result in higher costs for patients. In this instance, following through with this ethical obligation, Lisa will help the hospital, potentially assist in controlling expenses, and ultimately enlighten Toni on the importance of honesty and integrity.
One major point that should be made is: If others find out she turned Toni in,



References: Adeney, B. T. (1995). Knowledge, Friendship and Wisdom. In Strange Virtues: Ethics in a Multicultural World. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press. (1986). Courage. In The Bible Promise Book. (p. 27). Uhrichsville, OH: Barbour Publishing Inc. Moran, R. T., Harris, P. R., & Moran, S. V. (2007). Managing cultural differences, global leadership strategies for the 21st century. (7th ed.). Burlington, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann. steal. (n.d.). The American Heritage® Stedman 's Medical Dictionary. Retrieved August 27, 2012, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/steal

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