Ming is a recent migrant to Australia, having arrived in September 2015. He lives in the Brisbane suburb of Darra with his wife and one month old baby son.
Ming was unemployed for six months, but recently obtained a sales assistant role in a local pharmacy run by Roger. Roger told Ming that he is on probation for three months. If Ming performs adequately, Roger has stated he will provide Ming an ongoing, full time position.
Ming's wife is unable to work in her profession as a child carer due to her poor English. She would need to pay for English classes to improve her English skills before she has any chance of employment in Brisbane as a child care worker. Further, she is currently not looking for work as she is the full time carer for their baby son.
Given he has a wife and baby son to support, Ming was ecstatic when he landed the position at Roger's Pharmacy. Clearly Ming wants to do well during the probation period so he can secure a full time position.
About a month into the probation period, Roger told Ming that a pharmaceutical company EastPharma was having a promotion of its arthritis medicine, Modoxolin. According to Roger, Modoxolin was a relatively new product and EastPharma was trying to promote the product by offering a commission. For every Modoxolin sold, the pharmacy would receive a $15 commission. Roger told Ming that he would pay Ming $5 for each sale he made. Modoxolin currently cost $35 a packet for a month's supply.
Roger told Ming that when a customer comes into the pharmacy and asks for a recommendation of arthritis medicine, Ming should tell the customer to buy Modoxolin. Ming then asked Roger about the other arthritis medicine, Condoitin, made by the pharmaceutical company WestPharma.
Having worked at the pharmacy for a month, Ming knows that neither Modoxolin nor Condoitin require a doctor's prescription. Importantly, he also knows both medicines contain the same ingredients and so have the same level of effectiveness. The only difference between the two is cost. Modoxolin costs $35 for a month's supply whereas Condoitin costs $20 for a month's supply.
The following exchange occurs around the recommendation of Modoxolin:
Roger: "When a customer asks you what kind of arthritis medication they should take, you should recommend Modoxolin."
Ming: "What about Condoitin? I have always been recommending it, because it has the same ingredients and is cheaper. You know I worry because most arthritis patients are elderly and don't have a lot of money. It might seem like a small amount of money, but it can make a big difference to someone on the pension."
Roger: "Look, the promotion is on for 3 months. We both benefit out of this with the extra commission and we are still providing quality health advice. The patient's health, our key concern, will not be compromised - and it's not like there is a doctor's script asking for the alternative.
Just stick to recommending Modoxolin while the promotion is on - I need to do some renovations to the pharmacy and this extra commission can pay for it. Things like a new air conditioning system for the pharmacy. And needless to say, with a young son and a wife who needs English classes to get a job, I am sure you could do with the money. You know, if you can't follow a simple instruction like this, I'm not sure you'll survive the probation period..."
Ming is the only employee at Roger's Pharmacy. On average there are approximately one hundred elderly customers visiting Roger's Pharmacy a week requesting advice on arthritis medication. Ming calculates that his share of the commission would pay for English classes for his wife, Song.
Roger and Ming will not be breaking any laws in Australia if they advise customers to buy Modoxolin and do not tell the customers about Condoitin.
Advise Ming as to whether he should only advise customers to buy Modoxolin or whether he should also tell the customer about Condoitin. In your advice you should analyse Ming's dilemma with the three ethical theories namely:
II. Kantian ethics; and
III. virtue ethics.
For each theory, your answer should specify your analysis and conclusion (i.e. you need to clearly specify whether it would be ethical, according to each theory, for Ming to only recommend Modoxolin and not mention Condoitin).
• You do not need to undertake any research into arthritis medication to answer this question. Please only use the facts provided to you in the topic to answer this question.
• For utilitarianism you must discuss all relevant stakeholders that you can identify from the topic provided in your answer.
• For Kantian ethics, your analysis should include the appropriate maxim and must apply both Kantian principles of universal acceptability and respect.
• For Virtue ethics, you must apply one virtue that is relevant to the dilemma. You should explain why the virtue you have selected is relevant to the dilemma. The virtue you use must be selected from the list of virtues in the table titled 'Aristotle's moral virtues' (File attached below). In addition to applying one relevant virtue you must also include in your answer a discussion of at least one corresponding vice in relation to the virtue you have selected.
Part A continued
Ming wants your opinion as to usefulness of the three theories (Utilitarianism, Kantian ethics and virtue ethics) in resolving ethical dilemmas.
Provide a written response to Ming. In your written response you should:
1. Rank the three ethical theories (utilitarianism, Kantian ethics and virtue ethics) in order of most useful in resolving ethical dilemmas to least useful; and
2. Justify your ranking by evaluating the three theories. You can do this by discussing at least one benefit or criticism of each theory and use this evaluation to justify why you ranked the theories in the order you did. You must reference the source/s used. The source/s must be either a textbook or a journal article.
Part B (Part B is unrelated to Part A)
1. Describe an ethical dilemma you have experienced in your life
2. Explain why it is an ethical dilemma
3. Explain how you resolved your ethical dilemma (that is, describe your reasoning process that led you to resolve your dilemma in the way that you did)
4. State the stage of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development you were in when you resolved your ethical dilemma and explain why you believe you were in that stage. This means you need you provide a justification for why you believe you were in that stage
5. In justifying why you were in that stage, you should also explain why you were not in the other closely related stages of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development
Maximum of 1250 words
Ming versus Roger Ethical Dilemma
Ethical dilemma occurs when there is disagreement on ethical behavior. The case highlights ethical dilemma between Roger, who runs the local pharmacy in suburb of Australia and Ming who is recently hired as sales assistant in the same pharmacy. There are differences in opinion as both of them espouse a different principle. Roger, the owner was interested in earning the commission he would get by selling arthritis medicine, Modoxolin, to customers while Ming was concerned about not telling customers, who were mostly senior citizens about Condoitin, the cheaper alternative. The moral issue can be solved by using three main approaches: virtue ethics, deontological and utilitarian.
From a business standpoint Ming is an employee of the pharmacy and hence has certain fiduciary responsibilities to the pharmacy and its patients. Refusing to dispense Modoxolin as per orders of Rogers would be violation of that relationship and could affect many stakeholders. This could have a negative reaction on the pharmacy because of not being able to earn revenue as it could have. From the perspective of Ming, personal autonomy and dignity is at stake. The main stakeholders who are affected by this moral issue are:
Ming as sales assistant stands to lose out his job if he is obligated to sell Modoxolin but refuses to do so. If he agrees he would get $5 commission for each sale he made plus he stands to get promotion in three months. Conversely, Ming is giving up his autonomy by being obligated to give Modoxolin to which he is morally averse.
Patients who are in need of medicine are mostly senior citizens living on pension. It would be a dent on their pocket if they buy Modoxolin, despite cheaper alternative available in the market.
Roger stands to lose out potential revenue if Ming refuses to sell Modoxolin or he could generate greater revenue from customers buying the medicine.
The drug manufacturer stands to lose out customers to WestPharma if Modoxolin is not sold because of its high price
The first alternative to the dilemma states that Ming should sell Modoxolin despite its low cost substitute offering same benefits. Under this alternative, Ming is obligated under his job. The first defense of this alternative can be ...
Analysis of Ming versus Roger Ethical Dilemma concerning sale of medicine for arthritis that is costly over its close substitute