Contemporary Ethical Issues

  • Uncategorized

ContemporaryEthical Issues

ContemporaryEthical Issues

Performingacts that can only be deemed as ethical is always considered theright thing. However, it is not an easy task to accomplish. Moreoften than not, conforming to given high codes of conduct is notlimited to straightforward decisions, on the contrary, it may involvethe selection a lesser of two or more evils as some put it. Quitesome the decisions we make require the prioritization and choice ofthe actions that hold the highest level of ethical values andprinciples while giving lesser priority to those that do not. Assuch, ethical decision-making is a process founded upon the virtuesof trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, care andgeneral goodness among others. These ethical resolutions facilitatethe development of behaviors that are morally acceptable especiallyfor the purpose of proper business practices. Morality flows into allspheres of life and society. It is the basis for which publicemployees are expected to responsible [ CITATION Cur13 l 1033 ].

Leadershave to take the responsibility of making decisions without conflictof interest. Unethical behaviors have grave consequences on anindividual and the affiliated institutions. This is becausereputation is a fundamental element in how people perceive thestanding of a person or an organization. Unethical behavior not onlydiminishes the reputation but can also have legal implications,career loss, time wastage, reduced morale, and scandals.

Tocultivate an ethical decision-making standard, emphasis must beplaced on the best internal controls, promoting the ethicalenvironment, promoting competence and developing a system thatupholds all the intended virtues of morality and other relevant codesof conduct. This paper looks at the various stages and issuesencountered in the ethical decision-making process and the componentsembedded therein for a successful outcome [ CITATION Bar151 l 1033 ].


Moralawareness can be termed as the ability of an individual to payattention or to realize the moral elements when faced withchallenging and ambiguous situations. An individual’s moralawareness largely depends on their conscious desires, wants, needsand the influence of culture and the cultural pressures imposed onhim or her. An individual’s guilt conscience is largely influencedby the expectations of the society surrounding the individual [ CITATION Fel11 l 1033 ].

Peoplefrom different places have different moral awareness. This can beattributed to cultural differences across the world. The differencesin culture result to differences in societal values hence differencesin ethical behaviors by people from different countries. Since anindividual is taught on what is ethical or unethical by the societyhe or she is brought up, what seems as ethical in one society can beviewed as unethical in another. Therefore, a person will alwaysbehave in a manner in which he/she has been taught as to be ethical.Ethical behaviors are adapted from the childhood stage. Spermdonation is a particularly a moral dilemma given the challenge itposes to the society. It promotes single parenthood which is againstthe traditional moral practices. Children born via sperm donationhardly ever come to find out about their biological fathers thuscreating a rift in morality which promotes complete families.Concerning surrogacy the modern concept that has been introducedwith the aim of helping parents who are having problems conceiving,it has drawn worldwide concern on its morality [ CITATION Isk11 l 1033 ].

MostChristian churches are against these practices as they disrupt theconventional family aspect. These scenarios are similar and have thesame effects. This is because the newborns from these two practiceswill be faced with the dilemma of choice of actual parents sincethere are three parties involved, unlike the traditional family wherethere are only two parents involved. The baby in such circumstancesdeals with an emotional and physical taxing challenge regarding theparents and his or her identity. However, unlike in surrogacy, thedonation of sperms is mostly an option for single women who do notwant commitment from men. As a result they opt to get babies fromsperm banks and thus, it is rare for the donor to actually trace thechild unless under a determined search.

Sinceit is right for the child to be aware of his or her birth mother, itcreates an opportunity for some mental frustration or even breakdownto any child who has to deal with such a situation. The gestationalmother is expected to detach herself from the child once she hasgiven birth and such action can be stressing to such a woman.Similarly, children born out of sperm donations face a similarchallenge and are even worse off because their birth mothers may alsonot be aware of the biological fathers since they sought the help ofsperm banks. Surrogacy on it part can also lead to legal questionsabout the identity of the child. This is because the surrogate motheris not likely to be the one to take care of the child after birth andmay want to be involved in the child’s life against the wishes ofthe parents. Another ethical aspect to surrogacy is the compensationof the gestational mother [ CITATION Ric12 l 1033 ].

Thesurrogate mother is supposed to be well supported regarding financesto deliver the child safelyand needs some support after the deliveryof the child to get back to her previous state. Apparently, there isno fully acceptable financial package to reward a surrogate motherfor carrying such a huge favor to the involved couple. Consideringthe financial aspect of surrogacy, the practice can be seen to be aluxurious feat since the wealthy individuals are the ones who arecapable of utilizing the practice. Surrogacy can be viewed as“pregnancy for hire” (center, 2016) and it has caused a moraldilemma concerning the existence and societal acceptance of such apractice.

Alternativesand Judgments

Tomake an ethically sound decision, one needs to be acutely aware ofhis or her moral standing. One has to be sensitive to all ethicalissues to explore and come up with the best judgment to make amorally correct decision. One has to weigh the impact of theirdecisions in order to take the right action. With the consistentapplication of the morally correct approach to decision making basedon the moral principles practiced by the individual, future decisionswill tend to be much easier due to an already developed inner –self“moral intuition.”


Cloningas a scientific development poses a moral issue as it does notguarantee for the successful development of biological organisms.Scientists need to come up with better methods that would ensure forthe development of reliable organisms.


Spermdonation has to be well thought by both the donor and he recipientwith regard to the well being of the offspring. Since the child hasthe right to know the parents, it is better that there should bebetter agreement between the parents involved that will protect thechild.


Sameas sperm donation, surrogacy has to be well thought of so as toprotect the surrogate mother and the child itself.


Scientistsoften use animals in testing most of the drugs developed for varioustreatments. It is a moral issue since it reflects to animal cruelty.Better judgment needs to be made in order to protect the animals fromharm.


Abortionis an ethical problem that has attracted a wide range of attentionfrom churches and various institutions and individual. Every personhas a right to life and as such, better judgment needs to be madebefore carrying out the activity.

Theinternal intuition will guide in the analysis of all availablealternatives and make the correct judgment in all situations. Withthe inner moral intuition, when faced with a problem, decision-makingwill be easier even without consciously thinking about the issue athand. Ethical decision making as such requires practice. However, itis not advisable to always follow the immediate intuitions within us.This is particularly needed when facing strange and complicatedcircumstances [ CITATION Dar11 l 1033 ].

Thereare three main guidelines concerning the traditional ethical theoriesto be considered when evaluating alternatives for passing betterjudgment about making ethically fair decisions. Individuals who areguided by Consequentialism often focus on the effects of thealternative selected to solve a problem at hand. Such people willconsider all individuals who will be affected by the course of actionwhether indirectly or directly.

Thattype of a decision maker will consider all available options toremedy a situation and determine the desirable if not the bestoutcome given the situation that are being faced. The decision makerwill take the ethical conduct that will result in the attainment ofthe best outcome. A person exercising this framework of ethicalbehavior is often selecting those actions that will lead to positiveeffect in the end [ CITATION The12 l 1033 ].

Individualswho fall under this framework of ethical behavior only focus on theresult hence will ignore all other important factors to ensure thatthey obtain the desired results. Due to the challenge of predictingfuture events, at times the decision maker will adapt those judgmentsthat will harm most people while benefiting a few others. Since thefocus is on results rather than the means applied, all other redflags relating to adopting a particular course of action will beignored hence harming others. This kind of approach often renders allother options as useless and wrong as they are deemed not to be ableto yield the desired outcome. As such, those actions were taken toarrive at the desired results thus seems to be morally ethicalirrespective of their adverse effects [ CITATION Pik13 l 1033 ].

Inthe view of duty framework, people of such view will often focus ontheir duties and obligations irrespective of the crucial matters andobligations under consideration. The individual determines theethical actions, commitments, and responsibilities assigned to them.Unethical actions are only done where an individual acts out of hisor her duties. As such, a person will often explore the alternativesavailable and make a judgment based on the alternative’srelatedness to his or her responsibilities and responsibilities.Individuals who practice ethical conducts based on this frameworkwill never make a decision to take a course of action that is belowor beyond the assigned duties.

Thisframework is often adapted from a bureaucratic environment wherebyindividuals have limitations to their engagements and involvement. Individuals can only attend to matters that fall within their statedcapacities to act. It calls for respect and equal dignity that allpersons have their part to play and no interference should be made.Regardless of the results, everyone is viewed to have acted morallyas long as they acted within their mandate. The framework bestapplies where there is the need to put into consideration theobligations on different individuals [ CITATION Cur13 l 1033 ].

However,individuals who exhibit such tendencies of the duty framework ofethical morals often seem to be heartless impersonal and cold. Thisis because they are not worried about bad results being an outcome.They cannot take individual responsibility to act outside theirresponsibilities to avoid an adverse outcome from occurring. They arelooked at as inflexible since they are strict in keeping up with somelaws. The framework implies rigidity as it calls for duty for everyindividual irrespective of the situation [ CITATION Dar11 l 1033 ].

Asper the Virtue framework, individuals will always want to identifyany traits that will motivate them in the situation being faced. Anindividual will often first think of their view of their nature andwhat the actions to be taken will indicate about their character.Ethical traits and procedures as such will be based on the thought ofthe actions expected of a moral individual. As such, a decision makerwill select a course of action that he or she views to be morallyacceptable by those persons to be directly affected by the judgmentmade [ CITATION Cur13 l 1033 ].

Thisethical framework is suitable in those situations that ask the natureof a decent person. The framework categorizes the various behaviorsof persons as to either morally ethical or unethical while takinginto account the roles and experiences of all individuals. It is ofthe view that a person’s emotions, thoughts, and experiences ofteninfluence the character of an individual.

Thisframework is not suitable for guiding people when making complexdecisions since it focuses on the nature of a person rather than theacceptable ethical actions that are required. The model focuses onpatterns as the guide towards ethical behaviors. At times, itsupports cultural norms rather than ethical behaviors. Moreover,since it stresses the vitality of role models and education to moralconduct, it can seldom merely augment contemporary cultural norms asthe standard of ethical behavior [ CITATION Guy10 l 1033 ].

Decisionand Action

Withregards to the ethical theories considered, an individual’sdecision to select ethically right courses of action at any situationwill often depend on their moral inclinations. Given the particularproblem at hand, people will often come up with all availablealternatives for consideration then evaluate them by determining theexpected results both the possible positive or negative results.After careful evaluation of the situation, based on the inclinationto the ethical framework, an individual will take the course ofaction that based on his or her opinion seems to be the right one.For example, concerning sperm donors, a person inclined to theconsequentialist framework may opt to donate while a person inclinedto the duty structure may choose not to[ CITATION The12 l 1033 ].


Theconcept of morality and ethical behavior is a complicated matter thatcan be observed from many shades. However, it can be generalized thatan individual sense of ethical behavior largely depends on theenculturation and the how one was brought up and as such, passingjudgment to a person for specific actions, not an honest thing due tothe differences in social upbringing.


Adam, C. (2013). A Contractualist Reading of Kant’s Proof of the Formula of Humanity,” Kantian Review, 18(3):. 363–86.

Barbara, H. (2011). The Practice of Moral Judgment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Bartels Daniel, C. B. (2015). Moral Judgment and Decision Making. 1-51.

Center for Social Research. (2012). Surrogate Motherhood: Ethical or Commercial.

Center, m. f. (2016, October 16). The Ethical Issues of Surrogacy. Retrieved from

Fred, F. (2011). Kantian Ethics,” in his Introductory Ethics.&quot New York: Prentice-Hall.

Hill, T. E. (2014). Seeking the Ideal in Human Conditions.Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Hill, T. E. (2014). Virtue and the Virtues. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Iskra Fileva (ed.). (2011). Perspectives on Character, Oxford:: Oxford University Press.

Luke, R. W. (2012). Surrogacy – Laws and Medical Ethics. International Journal of Science and Engineering Research, 1-9.

Paul, G. (2010). Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Philippa, F. (2011). Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives. The Philosophical Review, 305-316.

Pikee Saxena, A. M. (2013). Surrogacy: Ethical and Legal Issues. Indian J Community Medicene, 37(4): 211–213.

Stephen, D. (2011). Kantian Practical Reason Defended Ethics. 89–99. .

The Iona Institute. (2012). The Ethical Case Against Surrogate Motherhood. 1-24.

University., M. C. (2016, October 16th). Calculating Consequences:The Utilitarian Approach to Ethics. Retrieved from

Close Menu