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Ethical Issues In Film Erin Brockovich

1129 words - 5 pages

The movie Erin Brockovich is based on actual events involving a corporate business called Pacific Gas & Electric who knowingly endangering the health of residents and the water supply in the town of Hinkley. Erin is the mother of three children who is out of work. In the midst of her job search she got into an auto accident and was injured. Erin has an ethical and moral responsibility to feed her children so she forces her lawyer Ed Masry to give her a secretarial job after he failed to get her a settlement from the auto accident. Erin has difficulty fitting in at the firm, the other female co-workers do not approve of her attire or her cleavage! The women in the office do not include ...view middle of the document...

“The Principle of Distributive Justice states that you should not take an action that harms the least fortunate among us. In the justice perspective, people should be treated equally, and all people have equal opportunity in society”.
Erin Brokovich displayed utilitarian ethical attributes because she wanted the best resolution in order to benefit the greatest number of people. “Utilitarianism is the moral doctrine that we should always act to produce the greatest good for the greatest number, and that our action should produce the greatest possible balance of good over bad for everyone affected by our action. An action is right or wrong depending on its consequences”.
Erin went to the county water board and was quite unethical in her method of retrieving information. She used her cleavage to get the gentleman behind the counter to let her go through the papers to try to find what kind of chromium PG&E was putting into the water. Erin was fired after investigating at the water board because she was missing from work for a week. Erin ends up receiving a threatening phone call and when she goes back to the water board, she asks the young man how he sleeps at night knowing that all these people are dying and the evidence was right under his nose. The man looks disturbed and it seems like he is actually thinking about the whole situation and possibly what he may have done or could have prevented.
There is a point in the movie where Erin develops a deep ethical and moral concern for people and she remains in that stage to the end of the movie. After Ed allows her to study Donna Jensen’s case, Erin meets up with Donna at her home in Hinkley. Donna tells her that PG&E have paid all the medical bills of the Jensen’s while at the same time offering them to purchase their home. Donna also tells Erin about the Chromium issue involving the Power Company and Hinkley inhabitants. Erin is direct, confrontational, and assertive but she shows much compassion and diligence when working on the case. She shows that ethics are not a convenience, they shape every part of a one’s behavior.
Not surprisingly, the lawyers who...

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