Ethical Dilemmas Archive (2022)

THE DAILY DILEMMA ARCHIVE

This is an archive of moral & ethical dilemma discussion starters from the case files of Charis Denison, Prajna Consulting. It presents a variety of age-appropriate, real-life examples of ethical dilemmas to ignite intense student discussions. These are just synopses. When you see something that looks interesting (and they all are), just click on the number and you’ll get the full story, notes for the facilitator (that’s you), and challenging discussion questions.

#1

Loyalty — Jeff’s best friend is getting into some pretty risky behaviors, including dangerous drugs. What can Jeff do to help his friend?

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#2

Honesty — Jennifer knows her parents won’t let her go to “the big party” if they find out the host’s parents are out of town. Should she lie about it?

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#3

Cheating— What’s the difference between cheating on a math test and lying about your age in order to save money on a movie ticket?

(Video) Ethical Dilemmas of YouTube and Network Effects

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#4

Cliques & Bullying — Julia’s best friend has turned against her and is now organizing the other girls to bully and isolate her. What can Julia do?

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#5

Corey Was Drunk (Drinking & Driving) — Corey is drunk and stuck at a party thirty miles from home with nobody sober to drive him. He’s not happy about any of his options. What should he do?

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#6

Teacher’s Pet (Fairness) — Lea has been offered something she really wants. Unfortunately, it’s terribly unfair to a lot of other people and she knows it. Should she allow herself to benefit from an unfair situation?

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#7

The Hook Up (Relationships) — Stephanie was supposed to tell a certain guy that her good friend had a crush on him. Instead, Stephanie ended up hooking up with the guy, herself. And to make matters worse, she lied to her friend about it. Now things are spinning out of control. What’s she supposed to do?

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#8

Everyone’s Doing It (Plagiarism) — A stressed out honor student has plagiarized a term paper and been turned over to the school’s honor council. She is pleading with the council not to report her violation to the Ivy League university she is applying to. What should the council do?

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#9

No Good Choice (Parents & Alcoholism) — A high school sophomore faces a family crisis when his alcoholic mom relapses into drinking.

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#10

Mean Girls (Bullying) — An eighth-grade girl starts receiving threatening notes in her locker and her backpack.

(Video) Ethics & Digital Archives by Daniel Hartwig at the San Francisco Public Library

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#11

Rumors & Forgiveness — A fifth-grade boy is overcome with hurt and anger when a classmate spreads a lie about him.

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#12

To Tell Or Not To Tell? (Eating Disorder) — Maria is sure that her good friend, Pam, has an eating disorder. Pam’s parents are in denial, and nobody but Maria and a few friends seem concerned. What should Maria do?

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#13

Wouldn’t You? (Cheating) — You are stumped on an important math test and you have the perfect opportunity to cheat without getting caught. What do you do, and how do you explain your decision?

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#14

Smart Kid, Bad Choice — The star student makes a bad choice involving alcohol. Now she has to decide what to do about it without ruining her reputation or compromising her ethical principles.

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#15

Technology Crosses The Line — Three of David’s classmates have created an offensive website that attacks students and teachers. The principal wants to know who did it and David is the only one who knows. Should he lie to the principal or betray his classmates?

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#16

Who Disappointed Whom? – When Jay asks his mother how she would react if he tried drugs, he gets a stern warning. Then he discovers that she’s been smoking pot. What is he supposed to do with that?

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#17

What If It’s Wrong, But I Win?Kevin feels that his baseball coach has given him an unfair advantage over other members of the team. Should he do something about it, or just accept his good luck?

(Video) We Solved Every Moral Dilemma

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#18

Who’s The Adult Here? — What do you do when your friend’s dad comes to drive you home from a party, and you can tell that he’s drunk?

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#19

Is The Prize Worth The Lie? — Archer is facing a thorny, but common, ethical dilemma: should he lie to his parents in order to receive a reward he’s not entitled to, or tell them the truth and give up the reward?

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#20

Good Touch/Bad Touch — Bethany has confided in Stacy that an adult neighbor has been touching her in ways that make her uncomfortable. Should Stacy keep Bethany’s secret or risk their friendship by telling an adult?

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#21

On-Line Flirting — Peter’s longtime close friend, Bridget, is wrapped up in an online relationship with some older guy on MySpace, a social networking website. Peter senses danger, but Bridget resents his warnings and wants him to butt out. What can he do without risking their friendship?

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#22

Is Dad’s ‘Right’ Really Right? — Andrew is caught in a conflict between trying to please his overbearing father and doing what is best for himself.

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#23

How Far Should a Student Leader Fall? — The incoming school president was caught breaking the school rules about alcohol. Should he be permitted to take office or should the student body hold a new election?

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#24

The Power of Words — Katy cringes every time she hears her friends use words like “retarded” or “gay” in a derogatory manner. Should she object when it happens, or should she let it pass so people won’t think she’s weird?

(Video) Barbie

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#25

Can One Action Define You? — Someone left money sticking out of an ATM machine and there’s nobody in sight. Nobody but Ben, that is. If he takes it, does that make him a thief? What should he do?

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#26

A Really Costly Choice — Erin’s chemistry teacher made a huge mistake on Erin’s final grade. A mistake that was very much in Erin’s favor. Should Erin point out the mistake to her teacher, or accept her good fortune quietly and gratefully?

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#27

The Tattle Tale — Noah sees the same bully torment the same victim every day on the schoolyard, and nobody tells the teacher about it. Should Noah speak up and risk being labeled “tattletale,” or should he ignore it and mind his own business?

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#28

Leave The Adults Out Of It — Lisa is at a party where her friend Sarah is vomiting and losing consciousness from alcohol consumption. Lisa wants to call 911. Her other friends want to try to deal with it themselves so they don’t get in trouble. What to do?

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#29

Where’s The Line? — David has just joined a Facebook group and he discovers that somebody has posted an offensive and malicious photo of a girl from his class. David feels very uncomfortable about it. What, if anything, should he do?

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#30

The Dilemma of Us and Them — Brian has the perfect summer job, thanks to his dad. But when Brian finds out that some of his co-workers (including some with families to support) make significantly less money than he does even though they’ve been there much longer, he feels conflicted. What should he do?

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#31

Ethical Compromise — Georgia is a very good math student who does well on homework but falls apart under the stress of heavily weighted tests. Under these circumstances, would it be so terrible if she cheated just a little? (an exploration of situational ethics)

(Video) The Hidden History of the Cold War: Anti-Fascist Archive #1 & 2 w/ Dave Emory (1984)

FAQs

What are the 4 ethical dilemmas? ›

In LDRS 111 you were introduced to four different ethical dilemma paradigms: truth vs loyalty, short-term vs long-term, individual vs community, and justice vs mercy.

What are the 3 types of ethical dilemma? ›

Types of Ethical Dilemma

In contrast, a world-imposed dilemma is caused by circumstances outside the agent's control. An obligation dilemma is one where an agent has multiple options and more than one of them is obligatory, while a prohibition dilemma occurs when all available options are prohibited.

What are some examples of ethical dilemmas? ›

Some examples of ethical dilemma include: Taking credit for others' work. Offering a client a worse product for your own profit. Utilizing inside knowledge for your own profit.

How do you identify an ethical dilemma? ›

When considering ethical issues, it is advised that you follow a stepwise approach in your decision-making process:
  1. Recognize there is an issue.
  2. Identify the problem and who is involved.
  3. Consider the relevant facts, laws and principles.
  4. Analyze and determine possible courses of action.
  5. Implement the solution.

What are the principles of ethical dilemmas? ›

These four principles are: autonomy, justice, beneficence and non-maleficence.

What are moral ethical issues? ›

“Moral issue is a working definition of an issue of moral concern is presented as any issue with the potential to help or harm anyone, including oneself.”

What are the three elements of moral dilemma? ›

The Concept of Moral Dilemmas

The crucial features of a moral dilemma are these: the agent is required to do each of two (or more) actions; the agent can do each of the actions; but the agent cannot do both (or all) of the actions.

What are the causes of ethical dilemma? ›

Dilemmas may arise out of various sources of behaviour or attitude, as for instance, it may arise out of failure of personal character, conflict of personal values and organizational goals, organizational goals versus social values, etc.

What are examples of ethical dilemmas at work? ›

Here are some common examples of ethical dilemmas, and how you could potentially deal with them:
  • Reporting a colleague for inappropriate behavior. Dilemma: You see one of your close colleagues speaking inappropriately to another member of staff. ...
  • Lying to your manager. ...
  • Disagreeing with a company decision.
13 Aug 2018

What is an example of an ethical dilemma in school? ›

A big ethical dilemma is bullying. Teachers need to be aware that students are not being bullied by other students or teachers such as the case in the Sun Sentinel paper. Two girls were bullying and harassing another girl to the point that the girl committed suicide.

What are the 7 principles of ethics? ›

The Fundamental Principles of Ethics
  • Beneficence. ...
  • Nonmaleficence. ...
  • Autonomy. ...
  • Informed Consent. ...
  • Truth-Telling. ...
  • Confidentiality. ...
  • Justice.

What are the 7 ethical issues in psychology? ›

Ethical Issues in Psychology
  • Informed Consent.
  • Debrief.
  • Protection of Participants.
  • Deception.
  • Confidentiality.
  • Withdrawal.

What is ethical dilemma in simple words? ›

Definition. Ethical dilemmas are situations in which an agent stands under two (or more) conflicting ethical requirements, none of which overrides the other. Two ethical requirements are conflicting if the agent can do one or the other but not both: the agent has to choose one over the other.

What is the first step in analyzing an ethical dilemma? ›

Identify the Conflicting Responsibilities

The first step in resolving an ethical dilemma is to identify the conflicting values and responsibilities.

What is the difference between ethical issues and ethical dilemmas? ›

The ethical decision- making process for an ethical issue such as this should occur quickly, leading to an easy resolution, since there is no conflict between principles. Typically, an ethical dilemma, on the other hand, exists when two or more ethical principles or standards are conflicting with each other.

What are the steps to solving an ethical dilemma? ›

RIGHT Decision Method
  1. Recognize the ethical dilemma.
  2. Identify points of view.
  3. Gather resources and assistance.
  4. Have a plan.
  5. Take action based on ethical standards.

Which is the best step to take to resolve an ethical dilemma? ›

Consider this three-step process for solving an ethical dilemma: (1) analyze the consequences; (2) analyze the actions; (3) make a decision.

What is a personal dilemma? ›

When a dilemma occurs, a person has to make the difficult choice between two desirable options, or, contrastingly, two undesirable options. The word comes from the Greek dilēmma (di “twice” + lēmma “premise”); it is a term used in logic and rhetoric when causing an opponent to choose between two unfavorable options.

Do moral dilemmas exist? ›

Moral dilemmas are not uncommon when organizations and individuals are working to satisfy competing interests, or when personal morals and professional obligations are directly opposed. An example would be a devout Catholic that marries, has children, and later discovers that their spouse is abusing one of them.

Can a person be moral but not ethical? ›

Sometimes, we may follow ethics that we don't agree with. Someone doesn't need to be moral to be ethical. Someone without a moral compass may follows ethical codes to be in good standing with society. On the other hand, someone can violate ethics all the time because they believe something is morally right.

What is the difference between dilemma and moral dilemma? ›

A person who faces a dilemma must decide which moral duty to prioritize; “whichever action is taken … will offend an important moral value” (Maclagan, 2003, p. 23). In a moral dilemma, it is impossible to live up to all of one's moral convictions and beliefs regarding how one should behave in that situation.

What are three 3 different types of ethical dilemmas that could occur in the workplace? ›

The most commonly experienced ethical issues include discrimination, harassment, unethical accounting, technological abuse, data privacy, health and safety, and favoritism and nepotism. Most of these concerns are experienced in workplaces.

What is ethical dilemma in organization? ›

Ethical dilemma is a complex situation at workplace that the employees and the managers have to face that result in a conflict of moral imperatives. Ethical dilemma is also known as moral dilemma where the person faces two choices and neither of which resolves the situation in a morally suitable fashion.

How can ethical dilemma be avoided? ›

Avoiding Ethical Dilemmas
  1. Make sure ethical expectations are clear. Discuss ethical dilemmas with your supervisor before they occur. ...
  2. Don't just say yes. Avoid the knee-jerk reaction to say yes when your supervisor asks you to do something. ...
  3. Learn to say no. ...
  4. Don't be the frog. ...
  5. Don't be nosy. ...
  6. Lead by example.

Can a teacher be fired for dating a parent? ›

No, teachers cannot get fired for dating parents as there are no regulations against teachers dating parents. That said, some schools and districts have policies against this act which when breached would lead to some form of minor punishment.

What are some common ethical dilemmas in education? ›

One of the commonest ethical issues in education is the choice of teacher a particular child or set of children will have in the following year. Such issues usually ensue between the principal, school administration and parents of the children.

What dilemmas do teachers face? ›

Teachers deal with many ethical problems in their practice. They encounter issues such as inappropriate allocation of resources, situations in which pupils are being discussed inappropriately, and irresponsible colleagues.

What are the top 10 ethical dilemmas? ›

Here is a list of top 10 ethical dilemmas in the workplace:
  • Fudging expense reports.
  • Taking credit for someone else's work.
  • Gossiping about co-workers.
  • Dressing inappropriately.
  • Sexual harassment.
  • Discrimination.
  • Sabotaging a co-worker's project.
  • Talking bad about the company to outsiders.
24 May 2022

What are the 8 ethical issues related to healthcare? ›

The major 10 ethical issues, as perceived by the participants in order of their importance, were: (1) Patients' Rights, (2) Equity of resources, (3) Confidentiality of the patients, (4) Patient Safety, (5) Conflict of Interests, (6) Ethics of privatization, (7) Informed Consent, (8) Dealing with the opposite sex, (9) ...

What are four 4 common ethical issues faced by nurses today? ›

The 5 Current Ethical Issues in Nursing
  • Informed Consent.
  • Protecting Patient Privacy and Confidentiality.
  • Shared Patient Decision-Making.
  • Addressing Advanced Care Planning.
  • Inadequate resources and staffing.
8 Sept 2021

What is the most common ethical theory? ›

27) define normative ethics as “theories of ethics that are concerned with the norms, standards or criteria that define principles of ethical behaviour.” The most common examples of normative ethical theories are utilitarianism, Kantian duty-based ethics (deontology), and divine command theory, which are described ...

What are basic ethics? ›

The expression "basic ethical principles" refers to those general judgments that serve as a justification for particular ethical prescriptions and evaluations of human actions.

What are theories of ethics? ›

Ethical theories are thus formal statements about what we ought to do, when faced with an ethical dilemma. Is it, for example, wrong to tell a lie, even if we thereby avoid making somebody sad? Or what if we, by harming one individual, can avoid ten people being harmed; should we in such cases choose the lesser evil?

What are the 3 very important research ethical issues? ›

Results: The major ethical issues in conducting research are: a) Informed consent, b) Beneficence- Do not harm c) Respect for anonymity and confidentiality d) Respect for privacy.

What are the 3 moral principles? ›

B.

Three basic principles, among those generally accepted in our cultural tradition, are particularly relevant to the ethics of research involving human subjects: the principles of respect of persons, beneficence and justice.

What are the 6 different ethical values explain each? ›

These principles include (1) autonomy, (2) beneficence, (3) nonmaleficence, and (4) justice. In health fields, veracity and fidelity are also spoken of as ethical principles but they are not part of the foundational ethical principles identified by bioethicists.

What are the 5 ethics of research? ›

Five principles for research ethics
  • Discuss intellectual property frankly. ...
  • Be conscious of multiple roles. ...
  • Follow informed-consent rules. ...
  • Respect confidentiality and privacy. ...
  • Tap into ethics resources.

What is ethical dilemma psychology? ›

An ethical dilemma arises when two or more of the values found in the ethical principles conflict. Such a dilemma is an ethical dilemma because its resolution must appeal to values.

What are the 5 ethics in psychology? ›

The five general principles of the American Psychological Association (APA) Code of Conduct state that all psychologists must strive to conduct themselves with beneficence and nonmaleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice and respect for people's rights and dignity.

What are some examples of Ethical Dilemmas in healthcare? ›

What are Ethical Dilemmas?
  • Advance directives.
  • Surrogate decision making.
  • Refusal of treatment.
  • Conflicts with caregivers.
  • Foregoing life-sustaining treatment.
  • Do Not Attempt Resuscitation (DNAR) orders.
  • Other issues perceived as ethical problems.

What are Ethical Dilemmas in social work examples? ›

The following are some ethical dilemmas that a social worker might face.
  • Client Refuses Care. ...
  • Incarcerated Clients. ...
  • Physical Contact and Sexual Relationships with a Client. ...
  • Sexual Relationship with a Colleague. ...
  • Political and Social Unrest. ...
  • Telehealth, Technology and Client Privacy. ...
  • Client-First Mindset. ...
  • Consult with Colleagues.

What is an example of an ethical dilemma in school? ›

A big ethical dilemma is bullying. Teachers need to be aware that students are not being bullied by other students or teachers such as the case in the Sun Sentinel paper. Two girls were bullying and harassing another girl to the point that the girl committed suicide.

What is an example of an ethical dilemma in business? ›

False accounting, sexual harassment, data privacy, nepotism, discrimination—these are just some of the ethical dilemmas that happen in today's workplace. Many business owners and managers will deal with ethical issues at some point in their career.

What are four 4 common ethical issues faced by nurses today? ›

The 5 Current Ethical Issues in Nursing
  • Informed Consent.
  • Protecting Patient Privacy and Confidentiality.
  • Shared Patient Decision-Making.
  • Addressing Advanced Care Planning.
  • Inadequate resources and staffing.
8 Sept 2021

What are the 8 ethical issues related to healthcare? ›

The major 10 ethical issues, as perceived by the participants in order of their importance, were: (1) Patients' Rights, (2) Equity of resources, (3) Confidentiality of the patients, (4) Patient Safety, (5) Conflict of Interests, (6) Ethics of privatization, (7) Informed Consent, (8) Dealing with the opposite sex, (9) ...

Why is ethical dilemma important? ›

An understanding of ethical dilemmas will give you a better idea of how you can resolve them should they arise. Prompt resolution of ethical dilemmas ensures efficient operations, keeps employee morale high, enhances the strength of leadership, and improves the public profile of companies.

What causes ethical dilemma? ›

Ethical behavior is acting in ways that are consistent with how the business world views moral principles and values. The four major factors that can cause ethical problems in the workplace are lack of integrity, organizational relationship problems, conflicts of interest, and misleading advertising.

What is an ethical dilemma in human services? ›

In general, an ethical dilemma arises when a social worker must choose between two equally valid, mutually exclusive choices of action, both of which result in some sort of harm to a person or persons.

Can a teacher be fired for dating a parent? ›

No, teachers cannot get fired for dating parents as there are no regulations against teachers dating parents. That said, some schools and districts have policies against this act which when breached would lead to some form of minor punishment.

What are some common ethical dilemmas in education? ›

One of the commonest ethical issues in education is the choice of teacher a particular child or set of children will have in the following year. Such issues usually ensue between the principal, school administration and parents of the children.

What is the biggest ethical issue in business today? ›

1. Harassment and Discrimination in the Workplace. Harassment and discrimination are arguably the largest ethical issues that impact business owners today. Should harassment or discrimination take place in the workplace, the result could be catastrophic for your organization both financially and reputationally.

What is the most common ethical problem for employees? ›

8 Most Common Ethical Issues in the Workplace in 2022
  • lack of diversity and discrimination.
  • harassment.
  • favoritism or nepotism.
  • health and safety.
  • environmental responsibility.
  • data privacy.
  • social media.
  • accounting espionage.
24 May 2022

What are the most urgent ethical issues in business today? ›

The 5 Biggest Ethical Issues Facing Businesses
  • Unethical Accounting. “Cooking the books” and otherwise conducting unethical accounting practices is a serious problem, especially in publicly traded companies. ...
  • Social Media Ethics. ...
  • Harassment and Discrimination. ...
  • Health and Safety. ...
  • Technology/Privacy.

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