Moral Ethical Dilemmas Essays

We have all faced ethical dilemmas

Although we may not have called them that. In philosophy and psychology courses, sometime they are also known as ethical paradoxes. By way of a simple definition, a situation involves two conflicting moral principles. To follow one means that a person is violating the other. These types of situations often become the topics of ethical dilemma essay assignments.

In psychology classes particularly, the personal ethical dilemma essay is a common assignment, and students are asked to form an opinion on which option to choose, even though both will violate some moral standard, either societal or person. Here are some ethical dilemma questions that are common topics for such essays:

  1. Jane has been told by a good friend at work that she (the friend) has met the man of her dreams, they have been dating for a few weeks and will now be taking a weekend trip together. Jane sees the new boyfriend pick her friend up outside of work and realizes that he is the husband of another good friend of hers. That friend has recently told Jane that she is really upset because she thinks her husband is having an affair. What should Jane do? Should she tell her worried friend the truth?
  2. A father has no health insurance and his daughter has a form of epilepsy that requires a really expensive medicine. He cannot afford this week’s dose; his credit cards are maxed out and his checking account overdrawn. He has exhausted all efforts to borrow the money. He decides to break into the pharmacy at night and steal the medicine. Is he justified?
  3. A young woman is working late and discovers she accidentally deleted an email days ago with data she needs. Her “trash” bin has been emptied. She know that her co-worker has the information on her computer and she also knows the password, which she discovered by accident. She goes into her co-workers computer and sees that the co-worker is engaging in online gambling, strictly forbidden by the company because they handle a large casino account. She has also violated a strict company policy against using someone else’s computer without their knowledge and could be fired for such an action. What should she do?

These essays require that the writer take a stand and defend his/her position. Generally, these types of essays force the writer to prioritize the two moral principles and then persuade the reader that the prioritization is the correct one.

Writing the Ethical Dilemma Paper

A paper, by its definition, is lengthier than an essay, the moral dilemmas to be handled are usually more complex or larger in nature – things such as embezzlement because of a pressing personal matter, etc. These types of assignments will require the writer to either create or use an existing ethical decision-making process in order to determine the appropriate path to follow in resolving the dilemma. In other instances, the ethical dilemma paper will involve a case study – a situation that made national news. One example of such a dilemma is the recent drone attacks by the U.S. of ISIS strongholds in Syria. Innocent civilians are being killed by those drones, and yet if these ISAS targets are not hit and destroyed, other innocent victims will die at the hands of this terrorist group. Applying moral principles to this dilemma is a difficult and complex matter.

Need Some Help?

If you are unsure about how to write an ethics paper, or need assistance in applying the decision-making process to your assigned dilemma, there are philosophy and psychology experts at who can assist.

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Ethical Dilemmas

Ethical dilemmas constitute of situations in which persons need to make choices given different options. The available options to choose from may not solve the situation ethically. If it does, then it may contrast other issues of ethical concern. For this reason, therefore, they are also named moral dilemmas. If the decision is not based on making choices or choosing options, them, it is not an issue of the ethical or moral dilemma. In the case of ethical dilemma situations, decision making is not easy. Decision making or problem-solving needs to be based on the personal or societal, ethical guidelines. Either way, the ethical guidelines are unable to make an individual make a choice without contradictions. The use of the guidelines is thus not satisfactory. However, as you make decisions involving such situations, it is essential to ensure that you abide by available social norms, codes of law, and religious settings.

Ethical Dilemmas Situations

Personal friendships may sometimes have situations that involve ethical dilemmas. For example, when in long term friendships it becomes hard to make decisions especially on how to approach issues in relationships. A partner may have difficulties enquiring actions of the other based on information provided by other people. One is thus afraid of doing the right thing to avoid hurting friendships and relationships. Societal Dilemmas, on the other hand, refer to situations that may contrast other values in the society. An individual however needs to weigh all options availed to make a good decision that will affect society positively. These dilemmas are hard to come out from.

Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing

Ethics in nursing and public health involve the characteristic of doing or causing no harm while in practice. However, ethics differs with personality, social values and knowledge from nurse to the other. Different nurses can thus make different decisions over the same ethical or moral dilemma. Deception verses the truth is one issue in nursing that causes the dilemma. Telling a patient for example of the extent of illness may cause discouragements, which consequently worsen the situation. On the other hand, the truth about conditions sometimes goes against integrity and honesty values. Other choices include choice and life issues. Different nurses have different perceptions on choices patients make. There is, for example, the ethical dilemma of how to treat patients who attempt abortions. The nurses are sometimes in the moral dilemma concerning patient autonomy. Whereas it is a principle they need to respect, they sometimes decide to take actions they think is best for patients.

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