Many situations pose ethical dilemmas when an individual has to choose between more than one moral remedy, each with a unique consequence. The individual may use different approaches to come to a decision on the choice of action to take. Among these approaches are deontological and teleological perspectives of making ethical decisions. In the latter approach, determination of whether an action is wrong or right is based on the outcome or consequence of that action. In the former, duty and obligation are the guides to making a decision. With respect to deontological perspective, this paper advises Fernandina on the choice of action to take.
As an employee of the mediation service firm, Fernandina has a duty to adhere to the firm’s policies, rules and regulations. The service’s code precluded any employee from mediating disputes involving clients with whom the employee had personal relationship. The mediator has a marital affair with one of the clients involved in the dispute, meaning that he has a conflict of interest in the case. Fernandina is aware of the affair and as soon as she sees the client, she becomes aware of this conflict. She is bound to give this information, as the code specifically requires anyone with knowledge of a conflict of interest to report it. The mediator is, however, not deterred by the fact that he has a conflict of interest, and it is clear to Fernandina that he intends to go against the code.
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Fernandina is in a predicament since she has to make a decision on whether to report about the mediator to the authorities or not. If she chooses to report about the mediator, she probably risks losing her job because the mediator is a senior employee compared to her. She, however, might still lose the job if she does not do it, as she will have infringed the mediation service’s code.
Considering all the facts of the case, Fernandina has various duties that she has to fulfill in deciding her action. She is obligated to the firm’s policies, i.e. she ought to report the issue of conflict of interest. She also has a moral responsibility to ensure that her colleagues abide to the code, thus she is obliged to report the mediator’s intentions. Moreover, she owes it to the storeowner to get a fair hearing by ensuring that the dispute is treated as objectively as possible. Fernandina should, therefore, notify the firm about the issue concerning conflict of interest before the proceedings begin. In case the mediator continues with the hearing, she should report about his breach of the service’s code.
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