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Values and Ethics in America Case Study

BA 3102 – Summer 2, 2012 Video Case Assignment “End Game: Values and Ethics in America” 1.The most ethical decision is if she turns left into town and report the accident to the police.Even if she turns herself in and jeopardizes to lose her school-funding grant, she knows she did the right thing and her conscious is clean.

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She caused a fatal accident that killed the other driver, which means she must report to the police. If she doesn’t, then her friend should turn her in and help her for the long run. Human moral and ethical values are more important then the award for the school grant and reputation in the company.

In the Deckop Chapter article-“Theoretical Bases for Analyzing the Ethics of a Decision”, it compares the utilitarianism and universalism theories. It states that utilitarianism is regarding “the greatest good for the greatest number and the ends justify the means”. It’s not ethical to disregard the law and serve the greater good. If she was killed in a deadly car accident, I’m sure she would want someone to report her death to the police who would later notify her loved ones. Running away from an accident is not only unethical, but is also a crime and there is no justification for it.

The consequences of fleeing a crime scene is more severe than turning yourself in. “The pressures of a situation may cause one to apply self-serving biases that while in the short-run appear acceptable, in the long-run result in damage to one’s firm, career or self in terms of staying true to ethical principals and human morals”(Desktop, 2008). I strongly agree with this statement. If she won’t report to the police, and deny what she did, she would be living with her guilt knowing she knew what was the right thing to do, but she made the wrong decision.

By knowing she is responsible for someone’s life and didn’t notify anybody, in the long run, it will destroy her emotionally (guilt, depression or even suicide). 2. I think I made the right choice for Julia because either way she would have had to face the consequences. If she turns herself into the police, most likely she would get arrested for drinking and driving. She would possibly lose her school-funding grant that all her students dependent on her. She would also lose her reputation as being a good teacher, but one thing she would be acknowledged for is that she was honest and admitted for her action.

However, if she don’t turn herself in, she would have to live on the rest of her life guilty knowing she hided the truth. In the long run the truth will be revealed. Part 3 doesn’t change anything for me, because I knew that the follow-up would be that she would hide the truth in order not to damage her reputation in the school, along with not letting her students down. Running away from reality is always easier then facing the truth and admitting for our wrongdoings. Many companies think they can get away with fraud or unethical decision-making, until they either get caught or they turn themselves in.

You need to know where to draw the line between personal responsibility and accountability. 3. My decision in question 1 is more consistent with universalism then utilitarianism because universalism focuses on ethical decision making, assuming the decision-maker is following the right morals and values. For example, Julia should report to the police and turn herself in, just as if her loved ones would like to know if she was in a fatal car accident and who is responsible for her death.

Also the universalism theory states that everybody is equal and moral ethics apply to everyone no matter what background or culture you are from. Universal ethics explains which behaviors are right or wrong. These ethical standards apply to everybody worldwide. It’s something that a virtuous person is supposed to adhere to and believe in, just like manners that you learn from home. Most manners are universal, though some vary from culture to culture. As a result, I strongly agree with the universalism decision-making tool.

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