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An Ethical Dilemma Essay

1526 words - 7 pages

In the story, Bowen was a participant in a sabbatical program for Morgan Stanley, where he spent sixty days climbing the icy and dangerous Himalayas in Nepal. He set out for this journey with his friend Stephen, who was an Anthropologist, their porters and some Sherpas. During their hike, Bowen & Stephen encountered a New Zealander who had with him a barefoot, barely clothed, Indian man who happened to be a Sadhu, who at the moment was exhausted and hypothermic. The New Zealander was on a mission to complete his goal, and carrying the Sadhu with him made it almost impossible to trek any further. Stephen and Bowen tried their best to help the Sadhu by helping him stay warm. Surely enough, the Sadhu recovered, but he was still unable to walk. Soon Bowen also realized that the Sadhu was getting in the way of his trip to the summit. So, Bowen decided to leave the Sadhu with Stephen. Following Bowen’s departure, some men from Switzerland and Japan also helped the Sadhu during their trip. It is important to note that all the different cultures of climbers: the Sherpas, the Swiss, the New Zealanders, and the Japanese were able to provide the Sadhu with some sort of assistance that was vital to his survival. However, in the end, the Sadhu was left behind with some clothes, food and drinks to trek two days to the nearest village. Ultimately, all the climbing parties were determined enough to accomplish their goal to reach the summit. Unfortunately, no one knew whether the Sadhu was still alive or not. Even thought it is apparent that everybody contributed in reviving the Sadhu, nobody took complete responsibility for the Sadhu’s life. Seemingly, in the end, Stephen and Bowen assumed that the Sadhu might have not survived the hike to the nearest village.
At first, Bowen did not think any party was at fault. He believed that all groups played their part in helping the Sadhu. But Stephen took a different attitude to the situation. Stephen presumed that each party offered tot help the Sadhu as long as he did not interfere with their initial plan of action. Stephen reasons whether each group’s actions would have been any different had the Sadhu been a well-dressed Asian or a Western Woman. Soon, Bowen started to feel guilty. Bowen’s ethical dilemma was this: Was it ethical to leave the Sadhu after doing his part to assist him, or should he have done more? This particular case also sheds light on Individual Ethics contrasted with Group Ethics. Bowen comes to the realization that he “walked by an ethical dilemma without appropriate action”.
How can one identify an ethical dilemma upon encountering a situation such as this? An Ethical Dilemma is a complicated situation that often tests the morals of those involved. Ethical Dilemmas always involve one or both parties suffering due to the consequence of the deciding party’s final judgment. In this particular situation, the individuals affected by the consequence of decisions made include: the Sadhu, Bowen, and...

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