Ethics Case Study: Homeless Man

Topics: Duty, Morality, Obligation Pages: 3 (738 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Case Study: Homeless Man

Ethics, Moral Leadership and the Common Good
February 24th, 2012

Case Analysis #2

Case Facts:
We decided to discuss the case of the homeless man provided in the textbook. Here are the case facts: A homeless man attempted to save a woman that was being attacked in New York City. In the process he was stabbed. He was visibly bleeding on the sidewalk for over an hour, as people walked by, took pictures and stopped to look at him. One man shook him. No one attempted to help him, stay with him, or call emergency services. The homeless man died on the sidewalk.

Obligations, Duties and Rights:
After reading the initial facts of the case, we discussed the obligations, duties and rights all held by the passersby and viewers of the situation. They are as follows: Every passerby has the right to their personal safety and health, as well as the right to remain silent and anonymous. Given these undeniable rights, every passerby also has the moral duty and obligation to report a witnessed crime to the authorities. They also have the duty to work towards maintaining the safety and well-being of their community. Along with this duty, comes to obligation to support and protect the most vulnerable among this community.

Our group further discussed the implications of the situation and the associated consequences, both intended and unintended, positive and negative. Following are the consequences that could have occurred if the passersby had chosen to offer aid to the homeless man: First, the man’s life could have been saved. Another outcome would be the finding and persecution of the criminal. Another, would be setting a positive example for the community, in turn promoting the safety of the community as a whole. Another positive consequence could be acting as a catalyst for future laws to be enacted aiding the community. Finally, a positive outcome from helping the homeless...
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