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Ethical Issues and Problems

B.2 Ethical Dilemma

Your friend, who was driving 30 miles per hour in a 20 mile per hour speed limit zone, hits a pedestrian. You were a passenger in your friend's car when this happened and the only witness to this occurrence. Your friend tells you that if you testified that he was driving within the speed limit, he would be cleared of any charges.

A. How would you testify?

(a) Your friend was driving over the speed limit
(b) Your friend was driving within the speed limit

B. Briefly explain the rationale for your choice.

(a) If you chose a, how can you justify your actions for getting your friend in trouble?
(b) If you chose b, how can you justify your actions for not telling the truth in order to get your friend out of trouble?

B.3 What right has your friend to expect you to testify that he was driving within the speed limit?

(a)My friend has a right to expect me to testify in his favor
(b)My friend has no right to expect me to testify in his favor
Briefly explain your answer

Solution Preview

A. Personally, I would not testify that he was going within the speed limit and while this would leave choice a, I would rather not testify at all. Thus, while I would not be telling the truth I would not be lying either since I would not be testifying at all. However, if I had to choose one, I would have to choose that my friend was going over the speed limit.

B. Since I chose a, I would justify my actions because a ...

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