Case Study Application of a Moral Theory.
Within the chapters “Lying, Cheating, Breaking Promises, and Stealing” and “Business and Media Ethics” of your textbook there are “Cases for Study and Discussion”
pertaining to that chapter. Choose one case from those listed in one of the two chapters and, by Thursday, February 12, 2015, answer the questions that follow that
The special challenge in this assignment is you are asked to do some play acting. That is, you must analyze and propose a solution for your chosen case as if you were
either a Consequentialist (Utilitarian) Ethicist, a Nonconsequentialist (Rational) Ethicist or a Virtue Ethicist, according to the first letter of your last name. That
is, students whose last names begin with:
A-L:. Please answer the case study as if you were a Nonconsequentialist (Rational) Ethicist OR a Virtue Ethicist (your choice).
M-Z: Please answer the case study as if you were a Consequentialist (Utilitarian) Ethicist.
To begin your case analysis:
• Name the case you chose, citing the source and page number where it can be found in the textbook in MLA format.
• Outline what the main facts of the case are in narrative format.
• Discuss the context, history and general background to this sort of case. Here you are encouraged to add extra research. Raise issues that any ethical
consultant should be aware of when dealing with this “type” of case.
• Within your assigned ethical theory for this case, further choose a subset of that theory (i.e for consequentialism you may choose to be an act utilitarian; or
for virtue ethics you might choose to be a Aristotlian virtue ethicist), and describe the main aspects of this theory.
• Repeat the specific question(s) you were given from the textbook about that case. You may add extra questions of your own here.
• Make your proposed solutions to each answer as one that an ethical consultant employing your assigned ethical theory would propose. Show how that solution
would be better than any other possible solution. (Remember that this is play acting, and your own personal ethical opinion need not be stated. What is important is
demonstrating how your answers are consistent with your chosen ethical theory.)
• End by giving recommendations, consistent to your given ethical theory, on how each person associated with this case should act individually going forward.
Then comment, consistent to your given ethical theory, on the “larger implications” of your recommendations for cases of this type.
After posting one initial post with the case study analysis and solution above, review the case studies submitted by two other students by the end of the instructional
week. Read the case study they are commenting on. Do you agree with their solution? Why/why not? End with a critical question for that student based on their answer.
Finally, before the end of the instructional week, answer any questions or issues posted to you by other students or the instructor on your case study.
This assignment is designed to demonstrate your complete mastery of the given ethical theory based on your studies in previous weeks. Also, this assignment is meant to
introduce you to the “case study method” that ethicists typically utilize to report on and analyze a case.
Case study 1: 80-Year-Old Woman Whose Son Dies from a Heart Attack as a Consequentialist (Utilitarian) Ethicist.
Jesusita, 80 years old and with a bad heart, is living in a convalescent hospital where she is visited regularly by her 50-year-old son, along with other
members of the family. Her son dies suddenly one night of a heart attack. The remaining members of the family feel that she shouldn’t be told of this because of
her own weak heart, and in collusion with the hospital staff, no one tells her. After a week, Jesusita asks why her son hasn’t visited her, and the family tells her he
is on a business trip, hoping she will forget about him. But the next week she asks where he is and when he will retum. She also wants to know why he hasn’t
called her or written a letter or postcard from where he is. The family tells her he is very busy but should be back soon. Another week passes and Jesusita
becomes very restless and upset about her son not visiting her; she becomes harder and harder to care for, and she cries a lot. The staff and family gather to
discuss what to do about the situation. They wonder whether they should tell her the truth now or think up some more excuses.
By answering the discussion questions about this case study in the textbook, I think it is wrong to lie to Jesusita, although her family thinks she cannot
stand it if she hear the news of her son’s situation because of her weak heart. She has the rights to know about what happened to her son. If I had done what
Jesusita’s family member dealing with this situation, I would try to convince them that it is the time to tell her the truth, because Jesusita kept asking where is her
son every week. She became upset that her son is not coming to visit her often recently. I think it would be better to just tell her the truth in the beginning instead
of lying to her first and then tell the truth. People do not like others lying to them; even it is a friendly lie. The friendship between family members will be worse
they did not tell Jesusita the truth in the beginning.
In a consequentialist (utilitarian) ethicist perspectives, those people will think about the result and the solution more than the actual action. They will decide
whether lie or not will bring to the best result for everyone. Consequentialists’ ethicists think backwards from the result to the decision they make. According to
case study, consequentialist ethicist will think about is lying to Jesusita is a good result for her and her family members that Jesusita’s son died?
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