Whistleblower – an ethical dilemma


Ethics in Practice: Whistleblower – An Ethical Dilemma  

A whistleblower, by definition, is someone who brings an unethical, immoral, or illegal business practice to the public’s attention. Whistleblowers have a difficult time in doing this, and they often find their lives changed because of their actions. Sometimes they are shunned and receive death threats. It is common for the family members to feel the effects of a whistleblower’s behavior.

Dr. Jeffrey Wigand became one of the best-known whistleblowers after his experience was turned into a movie, The Insider. He proved that tobacco companies were deliberately boosting the nicotine content of cigarettes, making them more addictive and cancer causing. However, like other whistleblowers, he suffered from tremendous stress and received death threats and other forms of intimidation for doing the right thing.

How did Dr. Wigand show moral intelligence in this situation? Jeffrey Wigand put his economic future as well as coworkers and his family at risk to expose the tobacco companies. Would you have done the same thing?



Required References

Ravishankar, L. (2003, February 4). Encouraging Internal Whistleblowing in Organizations [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.scu.edu/ethics/focus-areas/business-ethics/resources/encouraging-internal-whistleblowing/ (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Recommended References

Associated Press. (2006, October 20) Mark Hodler; Exposed Scandal in Selection of Olympics’ Host Cities [Web page]. Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/10/19/AR2006101901725.html (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

BBC News. (2014, January 17). Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme [Web page]. Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-23123964 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Ellsberg, D. (n.d.). Daniel Ellsberg’s Website [Web page]. Retrieved from http://www.ellsberg.net/bio (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

Government Accountability Project. (n.d.). What is a whistleblower? [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.whistleblower.org/what-whistleblower (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

O’Connor, J. D. (2005, July). “I’m the Guy They Called Deep Throat” [Web page]. Retrieved from https://www.vanityfair.com/news/politics/2005/07/deepthroat200507 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

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