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Ethical Dilemma

Ethical Dilemma

You are a train track switchman. Your post is in a small shack on the side of two sets of railroad tracks, and it is your job to manually switch those tracks, if needed, for oncoming trains. You have no cell phone–only one-way communication with Central Dispatch. You receive information, but you cannot transmit.

A train is within sight of your location and you can see that the bridge a few hundred yards down the track has collapsed.

There are 400 passengers aboard the train. You could switch the train to the other track, but that track is unfinished. Switching the track would send the train across a busy street where it would hit a school bus full of children.

Using each of the following approaches to ethical decision-making discussed in your readings to justify your reasoning:

1) utilitarian

2) human rights

3) fairness/justice

4) common good

5) virtue

What would you do, and why?

What if your only child was on that bus? Would your answer be different, and why?

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