29 Aug 2022


Ethical Dilemma in the Workplace: How to Resolve Them

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 550

Pages: 2

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In the conventional sense, the subject of ethics translates to ‘what is acceptable’. At least most people agree that there ought to be limits to what people do or how people behave. Generally, people ought not to take actions that are harmful to others, or even themselves. In most organizations, there are codes of conduct that stipulate how both employers and employees should conduct themselves. However, the study of different ethical theories shows that there are instances where people ought to be rational. That means that there are situations where either of the decisions may have undesirable implications. It is, therefore, up to an individual to weigh the available options and make a decision that has the least undesirable consequences. In this article, I summarize the article Human enhancements at work pose ethical dilemmas that was published by Fox News. Additionally, I will discuss the article from the perspective of a utilitarian, as well as express my views on the subject of the article. 

The article discusses three main issues, which include: stimulant drugs to help surgeons remain alert and steady, retinal implants to help keep pilots awake at night, and cognitive enhancers to help executives focus their minds when delivering a big speech or presentation. The main argument presented in the article is that the aforementioned drugs are usually manufactured with the aim of treating sick and disabled people (Fox News, 2012). Far from the intent, healthy people are also using such drugs. For instance, a drug such as modafinil that is prescribed for sleep disorders is often used by business leaders or academics travelling to conferences to help them stay alert. On the same note, pilots, the military, and night watchmen are also using retinal implants to help them improve their vision at night. The question that begs is, should healthy people use enhancements to improve their capabilities? 

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Utilitarian ethics evaluates the consequences of different decisions before narrowing down on a single resolution. The decision that results into the greatest benefit is the one which is chosen. That means that it does not have to be necessarily ‘good’. For instance, if a driver is unable to stop his car and there are ten people crossing the road while only one person is standing on the roadside, a utilitarian will suggest the knocking of the one person to save the ten people. Knocking the one passenger is not ethically right per se but killing or injuring the ten pedestrians is even worse. Looking at the case discussed in the article, a utilitarian is likely to argue that using enhancements for the common good is the right decision. For instance, a pilot who uses retinal implants to enhance night vision is less likely to experience fatigue. Consequently, the pilot is less likely to cause accidents. Executives who use stimulant drugs for positive reasons increase productivity. A utilitarian will also argue that there is no point of delivering a poor presentation or speech when there is a solution of making it better. 

According to my view, I think it ought to be a personal choice. The stimulant drugs and artificial enhancements are manufactured for sick people or those with disorders, alright, but under certain circumstances, there ought to be a compromise. The article itself agrees that these drugs boost the capabilities of the mentioned people. That in itself suggests that there is something positive in them. Moreover, they are used with a certain intent. However, people who use the drugs for other purposes such as leisure ought to be discouraged. Additionally, the mentioned professionals should use the drugs only when they are actively involved in their work. 


Fox News. (2012). Human enhancements at work pose ethical dilemmas .  Fox News . Retrieved 3 August 2018, from http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/11/07/human-enhancements-at-work-pose-ethical-dilemmas.html 

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