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Ethics And Moral Reasoning

The following is a true story - and it made national headlines several years ago. A Houston Texans football player and his wife got the call from a hospital in Dallas that his wife's mother (the football player's mother in law) was dying and only had a few minutes left to live. They hopped in the car and sped toward the hospital around midnight. Not many cars were on the road. As they were approaching the hospital, they ran a couple of red lights to get them there faster. A police officer saw this, and pulled them over as they were pulling into the hospital. The couple seeing the lights called ahead to the hospital to have a nurse meet them to substantiate their story that their mother was dying and only had a few minutes left.

When the couple jumped out of their car, the police officer drew his gun and told them to get back into the car. He walked over to them and they explained the situation. The police officer said he did not care, and they drove wrecklessly and broke the law. The nurse substantiated the claim, and the doctor came out as well and substantiated the claim. The police officer called for back-up and told everyone to stay in their car. He gave the football player a ticket. After the process, they ran inside but it was too late and the mother had died.

From your lectures and readings this week, what type of moral reasoning was the police officer using? What type of moral reasoning was the football player using? What would you have done in this situation? Was the police officer in the right to hold them and do his job as a police officer to enforce the laws, despite a mitigating circumstance? Discuss the moral and ethical ramifications of the decisions and what you think you would have done as not only the police officer but the driver.

Solution Preview

I remember this case fondly and based on this case there was no moral reasoning for why the police officer engaged in the abhorrent actions that were carried out that evening. The moral reasoning that the police officer used was absolutely immoral as he deliberately violated the rights of the daughter and son-in-law to witness their loved ones' last rites before she passed. There is no type of moral understanding that could ever justify a steward of the public behaving in such a manner even if the couple drove erratically and dangerously. Police officers are taught to ascertain situations before acting in a lawful manner, and therefore, when officers observe crises such as this, they have the discretion to view the crisis through an objective lens and determine if the situation warrants a different approach that allows for leniency.

Officers do this all the time and it is most common when dealing with juveniles who are caught doing statutory offenses or in scenarios where a woman is pregnant and ...

Solution Summary

The solution discuses ethics and moral reasoning.

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