Ethics is a framework that highly influences interactions among people within a social setting. It is an individual’s responsibility to decode the necessity of an engagement based on the moral and virtue essence. However, in some cases, it may be challenging to make an unambiguous ethical decision. I witnessed such a situation that included a moral dilemma – a policeman received a bribe. I was walking home from a shopping mall when I saw a police officer stopping a car that was overspeeding in an area with a speed limit board of 50 kilometers per hour. Upon the stop at an intersection, the police officer approached the driver, received a $100 note, and let the lawbreaker go.
The critical ethical dilemma engulfed approaching the police officer and confronting him over corruption against the moral initiative to involve relevant stakeholders in the problem. From the position of situational ethics, to solve the dilemma, it is necessary to understand the case and how justified such a violation was. Considering the context, skipping the offender carries a danger, and corruption is based on the infringement of the population’s interests and undermines public morality. From the care ethics’ point of view, context is also essential, but the people’s relationship and their moral significance are emphasized. Such a corruption situation implies two sides – the one who receives the bribe and the one who gives it, and both usually share fault.
When considering the problem using the ethics of care, if the offender was in a hurry for an important reason, for example, driving to the hospital, the officer could help him. In turn, bribe, even in the case of the officer’s dire need for finance, sets a precedent and poses a danger to society. Thus, it is essential to establish the major decision-making perspective affecting the police professional conduct and citizens’ welfare. Notably, my decision relies on the integration of police autonomy and the justification of virtuous acts. Relations between representatives of law enforcement agencies and citizens should be based on professional ethics.
The fact of a bribe demonstrates the presence of a problem in the current working conditions of the bodies. It is crucial to engage as many stakeholders as possible to assess the situation and the various factors affecting the existing system. Therefore, the best solution among the alternatives to the dilemma will be moral initiative involving stakeholders and their constructive dialogue.