Ethics Case Study : Your Son In Trouble

Ethics Case Study No 2 by related to Ethics, Integrity and Aptitude (Civil Services Mains Paper 5): Readers can post answers in the comment-space provided.

Ethics Case Study No 2 : Your Son In Trouble

Question: You are in a top administrative position in a state. You have a loving family – wife and son being the other members. You have reputation of commitment towards work and public service. You love your son so much and have high regard for the bright future for him.

Your son got an offer to study abroad when he was around 18, and when it was only weeks left for his travel, on a pleasure trip in car with his friends, he accidentally ran over a pedestrian. It was your son who drove the car and as per his friends he was under mild influence of alcohol. The pedestrian was killed, and you are shocked to hear the news.


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You are not sure if  your son can handle the subsequent mental torture by police and court proceedings. The victim’s relatives who utilize the situation to earn some quick money approach you and offer to settle the case without much complications and court proceedings, if you give them 10 lakh rupees. 

You are now in an ethical dilemma that, if you move as per the legal course, it will take time for a solution. As there was fault with his son, there is every chance that the verdict will be negative to him. Besides he will lose his higher education possibilities in US. The pedestrian who got killed, as per his relatives, was a nuisance to the society when he was alive, and there are not many who weep over his death. They are happy to close the case for the mentioned amount.

In this situation, what will you do?

Hint and areas to be touched: For this ethics case study, analyse the situation well. Does a utilitarian approach suit this case? Should you move ahead on practical lines or as per rule book? Are there other solutions?

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