Case study: ethical dilemma in foster parents vs biological parents

A married couple, both addicted to drugs, are unable to care for their infant daughter. She is taken from them by court order and placed in a foster home. The years pass. She comes to regard her foster parents as her real parents. They love her as they would their own daughter. When the child is 9 years old, the natural parents, rehabilitated from drugs, begin court action to regain custody. The case is decided in their favor. The child is returned to them, against her will. Does ethics support the law in this case? Discuss

Consider the ethical dilemma given above. Write a two page ethics paper about it, including all the following information and analysis:

  1. Solve the dilemma using any two of the following Three Primary Schools of Ethics we discuss this week from our assigned reading. (Ends based, Rules based, or Care based). listed in chart below
  2. Explain the similarities and differences in your two solutions to the same dilemma.
  3. State (and justify) whether you feel the two schools of ethics are worthy of use in “real life” dilemmas.
  4. Do you feel that Aristotle would have approved of either of your solutions? Why or why not?
  5. Use two of the three below.
    Master the Three Primary Schools of Ethics

    Deontological theories are rules-based and focus on duties and rights, the principles we choose to follow in making tough decisions and our most general expectations for human behavior: be fair to everyone involved, respect the basic dignity of human beings, and simply do the right thing in every situation. Working with deontological ethics asks you what principle you will follow in making tough decisions, a decision about valuing the principle even before you meet the decision itself.

    Consequentialist theories are ends-based and emphasize the good that result from human actions: the pleasure, wealth, or happiness that might come about as a consequence of our individual actions or social policies. Outcome-specific methods of thought often imply ideas like, “The ends justify the means.” Working with consequentialist ethics asks of you what outcomes you wish to have achieved after making the decision.

    Care-Based theories ask you to empathize with others by making decisions based on what you would wish done for yourself if in the same circumstances as the people who will be impacted by your decision. Care-based ethics calls you to ask how you would make a decision if you were to be acted upon by it – then to make that decision as it impacts another person.

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