John Is Basing His Decision Strictly On Case Study

Length: 2 pages Sources: 3 Subject: Business - Ethics Type: Case Study Paper: #66739916 Related Topics: Ethical Decision Making, Decision Making, The Decision, Smoking
Excerpt from Case Study :

John is basing his decision strictly on consequentialism, whereas Mary's perspective is more nuanced and includes both duty-based and rights-based points-of-view. Ethical consequentialism focuses solely on the outcomes of the situation, which is why John is concerned only with the client's smoking status. For John, getting the client to quit is more important than any other ethical objective. John understands also that the consequences of smoking are deadly, which is an underlying cause for his ethical stance. Mary's point-of-view is different. Although she sees John's side of things, she also understands several points about ethical decision-making. For one, both Mary and John are health educators in a community clinic. As such, they are professionals and are held to certain standards. Their professional status obliges them to work within ethical guidelines and legal frameworks. In other words, Mary and John have a duty to fulfill their professional obligations. Mary would prefer to find some way other than lying to help the...


In this way, Mary works with a duty-based non-consequentialist framework. However, Mary also bases her decision on a rights-based ethical framework. Unlike John, Mary believes that all clients have the right to truthful, accurate, and honest information.

Ethical consequentialism is based on two fundamental principles. The first is that the ethical tenor of an act "depends only on the results of that act," and the second is that the "more good consequences an act produces, the better or more right that act," (BBC, 2014). In this case, John works primarily with the former principle. The results of lying to the client would, at least in John's head, be improved health prognosis for the client. John cannot be certain that the "fear tactic" will work, but he believes that it is worth a try because to refrain from using the fear tactic might lead to the client's death. John uses what is known as "expectable consequentialism," which presumes, "the morally right action is the action whose reasonably expectable consequences are best," (Haines, n.d.). Considering that it would be wrong to allow a client to die without doing everything possible to prevent it, John bases his ethical reasoning on a strict consequentialist point-of-view.

Mary believes that the results of their work as health educators are certainly important, or else she would not be in this profession. However, Mary bases her ethical reasoning on duty-based and rights-based ethics. Both duty-based and…

Sources Used in Documents:


BBC (2014). Consequentialism. Retrieved online:

"Ethics 11," (n.d.). Nonconsequentialism. Retrieved online:

Haines, W. (n.d.). Consequentialism. IEP. Retrieved online:

Cite this Document:

"John Is Basing His Decision Strictly On" (2015, April 07) Retrieved January 21, 2022, from

"John Is Basing His Decision Strictly On" 07 April 2015. Web.21 January. 2022. <>

"John Is Basing His Decision Strictly On", 07 April 2015, Accessed.21 January. 2022,

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