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Ethical Dilemma: Eight Key Questions (8KQ)

Ethics is one of the core components of human society as it regulates relations between individuals and protects them from undesired outcomes. However, the given area remains extremely complex because of the differences in human thinking and approaches that are used to judge about the ethical components of particular situations. For this reason, there are various tools, such as Eight Key Questions (8KQ), that can be applied to different scenarios to determine what is the ethical course of actions and the nature of the problem (Shafer-Landau 43). The utilization of such toolkits also demands the correct analysis of any case to outline the existing controversies and conclude about their possible impact on outcomes.

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Cogitating the proposed scenario, it is possible to state that the major controversy lies in the fact that it is unclear whether Holly voted by herself and had an opportunity to show her real opinion or her sister Margaret deprived her of this opportunity because of the complex state of the first woman. Although they both have similar political views and they share the ideas represented by the same party, the case gives rise to controversy as the right to vote is a major constitutional right guaranteed to every citizen of the USA. For this reason, Margaret’s action can be viewed as a violation of this very freedom and the intervention in privacy.

The situation can be analyzed by using the 8KQ tool. The idea of fairness is applicable to the scenario, as there is no clear understanding of whether Margaret voted correctly (Shafer-Landau 56). The concept of outcomes seems lest important as the given violation might not have a severe effect on people involved in the situation. Responsibilities are also a vital consideration as the volunteers’ functions include the monitoring of ballots and their correctness. The aspect of character can also be applied to the case as it is central to follow an ethical code to become a better person (Shafer-Landau 51). The scenario also touches upon the idea of liberty, as the right to vote is one of its basic components and should be analyzed when speaking about the case. This concept is also correlated with the idea of rights, as Holly’s fundamental rights can be infringed. Another important aspect is that authorities expect the detection of such ballots and their exclusion to ensure credible results. Finally, empathy is hardly applicable to the scenario because of its nature.

In such a way, the most important three questions in the case are related to liberty, rights, and authority. It is vital to act respecting people’s consent and their autonomy. However, in this case, there is a chance that Holly does not know about Margaret’s decision to vote for her because of the problems with health and the inability to make appropriate decisions. In such a way, the concept of personal freedom and the right to make decisions resting on the available and reliable information can be violated, which demonstrates the existence of an ethical dilemma that should be solved to avoid misunderstandings or undesired outcomes.

The case should also be analyzed by applying the idea of people’s basic rights. The constitution states that every citizen of the USA can vote and demonstrate his/her preferences, which also serves as the basis of democracy and guarantees fair elections. In this situation, Holly’s main right can be infringed as it is not clear whether it was her or her sister who used the ballot. It is an important consideration that should be given attention when analyzing the scenario.

Finally, the idea of authority also becomes critically important for the given case. Any elections presuppose the observation of a particular protocol. It means that ballots should be used by voters and cannot be handled by third parties. The authorities expect volunteers to detect votes that do not meet such criteria and report them. For this reason, Holly’s case should be viewed as a violation of this rule and the inappropriate use of ballots.

Altogether, having applied the 9KQ tool to the case, it is possible to conclude about the unacceptability of such situation as it contradicts the code of ethics. Margaret violated the major rules, and the case should be reported as an appropriate solution to the problem. From the perspective of rights, liberties, the disregard of this situation might precondition infringement of several important human rights and hurt Holly (Shafer-Landau 51). Regardless of the fact that Margaret is her sister and has similar views, she was not authorized to fill the ballots for Holly, which is the root cause for the emergence of such a dilemma. If it discovers that Holly does not know about this action, her basic rights will be infringed, which cannot be accepted from the perspective of ethics. For this reason, it is possible to conclude that the given ethical dilemma can be resolved by excluding the ballot and asking Holly about this case, along with the provision of recommendations on how to act in the future to avoid such problematic situations.

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Work Cited

Shafer-Landau, Russ. The Fundamentals of Ethics. 4th ed., Oxford University Press, 2017.

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