Professional Code of Ethics
There are various types of ethical theories however they can be fundamentally classified into two categories: Teleological and Deontological (Bottaro, 2007). Teleological are those based on the purpose of choosing a person’s actions to maximize the value of the expected consequences of the actions. Deontological theories are those based on the aim of choosing a person’s actions in regard to the standards required or obligations to be met. In regard to teleological theories, one’s actions are morally right if they bring about the best result in the particular situation. It is either the goodness or badness of the result alone that makes them wrong or right. Often these theories are referred to as Utilitarian theories. The basic theory applicable in Case 29 from the utilitarian theories is the Values pluralism theory that explains that there are many good things, including pleasure and happiness. However, knowledge, friendship, love, family tie and so forth could or could not cause differing in importance and priority.
In regard to Case 29, considering the teleological theories, Kelvin has to look at the consequences—good or bad—of lending or not lending Shawn the loan. If he opts to give Shawn the loan the good result of his action would be the continuity of their longtime friendship. However, this action has a negative side of it, if Shawn gets the loan and in the end is unable to repay due to the low income or lacks a proper repayment schedule this may strain their friendship since it would be the first time they are having a monetary affair in their relationship as friends and the fact that they grew in backgrounds that disapproved discussion of personal financial issues. On the other hand if Kelvin, who can afford to loan Shawn, decides not to take the risk of not lending Shawn the money, this would have adverse negative repercussions to their friendship. Therefore, the action with the most positive result is the most probable for Kelvin to pick. In this particular case the action with more positive consequences than the negative would be Kelvin giving Shawn the loan.
In comparison to utilitarian (where one seeks the good of everyone) individualistic theories base the importance of an action in ones favor and no greater significance to anyone else’s (Hailey, 2006). The basic principle in individualistic theories is to primarily seek my own good. Thus if my own good is fulfilled best by looking for the good of others then it is my best option; hence if Kelvin loans Shawn he would do himself good and Shawn too since it would not put their friendship at stake as the consequences would be positive. However, if Kelvin opts not to loan Shawn, it would do him good in that the risk of not getting a refund for his money would be eliminated though Shawn would get the negative result. Not loaning Shawn is not the best probable action to take hence the best would be loaning him.
In regard to deontological theories, an action is morally right if it is necessary by duty and is not in disagreement with other events required by a given duty. In this theory an action may be morally correct in a given situation and morally wrong in another (Hailey, 2006). In some cases morally wrong actions may have positive consequences while right actions may negative consequences. For instance, it is morally wrong for Kelvin and Shawn to discuss their financial issues this according to the background they grew up in. The case is however different when it comes to their friendship since it would be morally wrong if Kelvin fails to assist Shawn with the loan he requires more as they have been great friends for quite a long time.
In social contract theory Kelvin has to look at different aspects such as the viability of Shawn’s project; could it in the end raise the funds required to repay the loan, or can Shawn’s salary enable him to have a good repayment schedule that will completely repay the loan. This theory works on the principle of professionalism with friendship not considered as a factor to offer the loan. It would be more applicable though if statistics would show that Shawn lacks a good repayment scheme it would be morally wrong for Kelvin to deny him (Shawn) the loan.
In conclusion, it would be best for Kelvin to loan Shawn however much uncertainty there is in since the positive consequences resulting override the negative consequences. This is according to the teleological theories. More so, as a friend to Shawn, Kelvin has some sort of obligation to assist him due to the Values pluralism theory. Morally it would wrong for Kelvin not to loan his longtime friend. Failure to help him out with the loan would have broken their friendship morals as in deontological theories. The most inapplicable theory in Case 29 is the social contract theory. It has several negative results compared to the positive consequences.
Bottaro, M.J. (2007). The professional code of conduct. New York: iUniverse. Pp. 7-33
Greenberg, J.S. (2001). The codes of ethics. Boston: Jones and Barlett publishers. Pp. 78-112
Hailey, K. (2006). The professional conduct: standards and Ethics. Tucson, AZ: lawyers and judges publishing company