Ethical Dilemma and Ethical Lapse: Understanding the Differences
What is the difference between an ethical dilemma and an ethical lapse?
An ethical dilemma is a situation in which one has to choose between two or more ethically equivalent alternatives, while an ethical lapse is a failure to follow proper ethical principles. For example, imagine you are a doctor faced with the choice of either performing surgery that will save a patient's life or refusing to do the surgery because you believe it is against your religious beliefs. This would be an ethical dilemma, as both options are ethically equivalent. On the other hand, if you performed the surgery but did not wash your hands properly afterwards and thus caused an infection in the patient, this would be an ethical lapse, as you did not follow the proper ethical principles of doctor-patient care.
What are ethical lapses?
Ethical lapses are failures to follow proper ethical principles. For example, if you performed the surgery but did not wash your hands properly afterwards and thus caused an infection in the patient, this would be an ethical lapse, as you did not follow the proper ethical principles of doctor-patient care. Other examples of ethical lapses include stealing, lying, cheating, and any other behavior that goes against generally accepted ethical standards.
How can you avoid ethical lapses?
There are a few ways that you can avoid ethical lapses. First, you can make sure that you are aware of the ethical principles that apply to your situation. Second, you can take the time to consider what the right thing to do is before taking any action. Third, you can seek guidance from someone who is knowledgeable about ethics if you are unsure what the right thing to do is. Finally, if you do make an ethical lapse, you can learn from your mistake and take steps to ensure that it does not happen again.
Why do ethical lapses occur in business?
There are a few reasons why ethical lapses occur in business. First, businesses are often under pressure to achieve results, and this pressure can lead employees to cut corners or take shortcuts that violate ethical standards. Second, businesses may have lax policies or procedures that allow unethical behavior to go unchecked. Third, some businesses operate in industries that are prone to corruption or unethical practices. Finally, some people simply lack a personal moral code and are willing to engage in unethical behavior if they believe it will benefit them financially.
What are the consequences of ethical lapses?
The consequences of ethical lapses can be very serious. For example, if an employee steals from their employer, they could be fired and prosecuted. If a company engages in corrupt practices, it could be fined or even shut down. Ethical lapses can also damage a company's reputation and make it difficult to attract and retain customers and employees.
What is ethical risk?
Ethical risk is the potential for harm that can come from unethical behavior. For example, a company might face legal and financial penalties if it engages in corrupt practices, its employees engage in sexual harassment, or it leaks confidential information. A company's reputation can also be damaged by unethical behavior, which can lead to lost profits. Finally, unethical behavior can cause tension and conflict within a workplace, which can reduce productivity and increase staff turnover.
What should you do if you encounter an ethical dilemma?
If you encounter an ethical dilemma, there are a few things that you can do. First, you can consult with someone who is knowledgeable about ethics to get their opinion on what the right thing to do is. Second, you can try to weigh the pros and cons of each possible course of action and decide what you think is the best option. Third, you can ask yourself how you would feel if the situation were reversed and consider how you would want to be treated in that situation. Finally, you can take a step back and look at the big picture to see if there is a more ethical way to approach the dilemma.
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