Ethics has been a big problem to many people because it is not easy to define and to give a clear meaning. Everybody would like to live an ethical life but it is not simple as it sounds. Ethical dilemma comes in, where two contrasting ethical ideas, issues or situations are experienced; hence making a decision may be a big issue. Ethics therefore is concerned about distinguishing between what is bad and good, good or evil, fair and unfair or just and unjust human actions either virtuous or non virtuous person’s character and behavior (Kant 56).
The current event is about a corruption scandal in Mexico that is suspected to have been organized at a pharmaceutical giant Novartis firm. There is an investigation into a suspected corruption which is an ethical issue which needs to be addressed. This case involves the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and the suspected firm (pharmaceutical giant Novartis). The Mexican president Felipe Calderon on Wednesday ordered for a thorough investigation about the case and suspicion on the possible corruption in the pharmaceutical giant Novartis firm (Olson 300). The suspected corruption was broadcasted on Tuesday evening by the Mexican TV network Televisa.
To prove this, they provided an audio recording of a Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) senior official negotiating the purchase of $ 6.5 million ($ 80 million pesos) value of pharmaceuticals with Rafael Castro who is the director of Novartis laboratory director. The president is not happy about the scandal and may be that is the reason as to why he was furious on what he posted on his twitter account while on his mission to South Korea. He wants the possible culprits be punished immediately after investigation is over and he ordered for a thorough and comprehensive investigation (Olson 304). This act is unethical and it is punishable by law.
This is seen as unethical and not procedural because it is a tender which must be advertised or published as by the laws governing the tendering process and procedures. There was collusion or negotiation before the tender was published; the officer is reported to have informed the Novartis’ representative that, tender was to be published on Thursday yet conspiracy had occurred on Tuesday before the actual date. This is seen as unfair, unethical and the concern deserves to be punished including the corresponding commission (Blackburn 90).
The body that deals with corruption is working day and night to ensure the menace is reduced and eventually eradicated in the country. On Tuesday, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) announced that it had fired and dismissed Cesar Mora Eguiarte from his position as Goods and Services Acquisition Coordinator who is believed to be at the centre of the whole corruption scandal (Kant 58).
The pharmaceutical company has responded to support the government effort in the fight against corruption by suspending several Mexican officials and business people; this is according to the Mexican authorities report on Friday. The government of Mexico has been hit by major corruption scandals even though there have been numerous reforms that have been set to deal with the menace for many years. This is a setback to the government because many contracts have been investigated due to the public outcry on favorism in tender awarding process which is corrupt and it is awarded based on who you know (Blackburn 92).
The big companies are the most affected with corruption and this problem is attributed to a highly monopolized economy. The government is in the fore front dealing with this unethical business issue and it has referred the matter to the anti-monopoly commission as well as other agencies dealing with cases of corruption (Olson 305).
This is unethical issue as seen in the officials discussing about the percentages between three and five. A government official is adversely mentioned in this case to show how government is involved in such scandals but the good thing is that; corruption fight in Mexico is being fought from the top being led by the president. From what is happening in Mexico, it is quite clear that, corruption is still a major challenge in the whole country and it needs to be addressed before it reaches an adverse stage. Stringent laws should be set so as to curb this issue and total commitment as shown by the president must be upheld by all corruption agencies and government authorities. The authorities and agencies must deal with corruption by incorporating ethical principles (Singer 44).
Ethical theories are the grand ideas where guiding rules and principles are based. These theories tend to strive so as to maintain coherent and systematic guidelines in fighting the menace (corruption) which has rocked the country currently and in the past. All ethical theories are egoistic and altruistic attitudes towards mankind behavior and character (Perle 84).
The theories are meant to provide and to enhance ethical principles and values that will guide people’s behavior and character in their actions. They are the general truths and systems that defend a particular action and aims at correction anomalies and deviations. Aristotle is seen as a person behind all the theories dealing with business ethics. He has contributed much on the business ethics by fighting for fairness and good behaviors in transacting business (Singer 46).
Based on the question and what is happening currently in Mexican government on issues to do with corruption, utilitarian theory can best explain and address this corruption scandal on the basis of its argument. Utilitarian theory is one of the commonly used functional theories and favored by many people and ethical theorists. This theory is also known as teleology or consequentialism theory. This theory basically enhances good values by using the right means to achieve its expected goals and objectives. It explains how rules and regulations must be adhered to; so as to satisfy and give the most advantage to those who may have been done injustice in one way or another by those with power and authority (Blackburn 94).
The theory advocates for achieving the most advantage to the majority of the people in the society. It fights for the vulnerable in the society from a few greedy people in the society who are just after their own self interest (Vendemiati 60). This theory fits the current situation because we see a few people who want to take advantage of their positions to only benefit themselves at the expense of the majority of Mexicans. This theory advocates for fairness, equality and justice for all irrespective of ones status or position in the society. Business ethics should be the corner stone of all business transactions. This theory basis is laid on the broader social policies which are seen as most important and can build a strong ground for fighting this vice affecting the society (Perle 78).
The theory holds the consequences and effects of a particular action in order to form the basis of any valid moral judgment about someone’s actions based on the rules of consequentialism (Silverstein 88). This is evidenced when the president gave out directives for investigation to be done and those responsible for the scandal to be dealt with in accordance to the laws (Singer 45). Someone’s actions form the basis of judgment and this is practically seen when the senior officials in the pharmaceutical firm are suspended so as to pave way for a thorough investigation. Utilitarianist’s point of view is that, they wanted a morally right action that produces the desired outcome or consequences which are justified by the fact that, the ends justify its means. This is therefore a modern moral philosophy coined by G. E. Anscombe in 1958 where stated that, everybody should carry his or her cross based on the actions and the behavior demonstrated (Silverstein 90).
This theory main feature is the consequences in evaluating and judging the wrongness or rightness, fairness or unfairness of the actions demonstrated by different people. The results or outcomes of an action will overweight other considerations and legal requirements that may be required for a final judgment. The theory has tried to explain the consequences that are good or bad, the main beneficiary of the moral action taken and finally how the consequences are judged or determined and who judges are or who should provide a ruling (Blackburn 96).
According to hedonistic utilitarianism, an action is said to be good if it increases pleasure and the action is one whose outcome satisfies the greatest number of people. This is meant to ensure everybody plays his or her role in accordance to the set rules and regulations governing their actions. It also focuses on tensions and conflicts between different states of affairs which are expected and what not and therefore should be adjudicated (Lyons 231).
Motive utilitarianism was developed by Adams Robert which suggested that, ethics is a hybrid between acts and rules which are seen to be realistic and ethical. The motive is deemed to be realistic on how people function psychologically when dealing with others. It explains how people are emotional, passionate and we try to justify our deeds even if our actions are negative. People do not consider negative prohibitions and hindrances but they continue engaging in bad deeds because others do it. It seems from the current corruption in Mexico that, it happened because others did in the past and others are still engaging themselves in it; hence its purpose is to promote and to justify what others have been doing (Kant 60).
Motive utilitarianism is seen as a response to the rules which are against the realities but hypothetical situations which are common in the philosophical and psychological articles and publications. Motive utilitarianism proposes that, our moral task is to learn within ourselves good morals which are socially and morally acceptable by the majority. We should be useful by serving others in the positions we are in for the benefit of all that we serve; but not to promote greediness and self-centeredness as the pharmaceutical officials who promoted corruption for the sake of themselves. The motive utilitarianism is meant to deter people who may be wishing to do wrong things (Lyons 232).
This type of utilitarian theory aims at promoting the least evil or harm to the people or the community. It is meant to prevent the greatest amount and mass suffering for the greatest number of people. Most ethical theorists such as Karl Popper, Christoph Fehige and Clark Wolf believe that, this is the most effective and efficient ethical theory because it fights the vices in the society that can harm majority of the people. It clarifies the field of ethics that will end the demand for negativity by promoting happiness that will satisfy everybody who has a share and interest in what is happening (Lyons 234).
Negative utilitarianism can be clearly seen when the president was unhappy by what was happening in the country. The president knew that, the outcome of the corruption scandal would affect most citizens of Mexico. The health sector would be affected because most patients would have lacked drugs due to corruption promoted in the pharmaceutical firm (Orend 19).
Ethical issues of this theory (Utilitarianism theory)
Some ethical theorists do not believe in this theory citing that it is not comprehensive and does not have the evidence to support it. It lacks moral authority to reduce unethical issues in the society and they believe that is not an independent theory because it must depend on other factors and theories. They further argue that, they only sacrifice to reduce extreme suffering but not to avoid the pain the majority will get in the society (Lyons 235).
The theory is said to be pessimistic and does not try to support the societal norms and values. The ethics of the issue is concerned about the standards that are used to add value to the societal norms, values and general principles. For this corruption in the government which has dominated, the president acted ethically by calling for investigation into the whole corruption scandal. It is ethical because he is playing a crucial role reducing cases of corruption. He also acted ethically by not defending the top government officials such as the director in the pharmaceutical firm. He is using the rules and regulations to promote acceptable behaviors by minimizing and avoiding negative effects of vices such as corruption in the country which has been enhanced by the senior government officials (Kant 62).
It is unethical for the health official to engage in corruption where funds will be lost that could have been used to purchase drugs in order to assist the patients in the health centers and hospitals. The ethical values are learnt at the tender age and so the societal institutions must incorporate societal norms and values that are ethically and socially acceptable at all times by most people (Blackburn 98).
Although a person is as a separate entity, he is suppose to have his or her own personal values because there are some norms and values that are generally acceptable by the medical community, legislatures, executive, courts and the society at large and must be upheld at all times. Respect for the patients rights by availing the needed medication or treatment in all health facilities in the country must be given the first priority. This can be achieved by considering the fundamentals that are sometimes given overriding importance and seriousness it deserves (Orend 21).
The ethical issues arising are the fact that, corruption seem to have rooted well in Mexico and it is even complicating the authorities on which one to handle first. It seems there are no stringent rules and regulations governing the authorities and agencies dealing with corruption in Mexico. It is unethical for an emerging corruption scandal to be given much attention yet other past scandals are not dealt with. The government authorities and agencies have started investigating the matter; and it is believed that, such bodies should not have waited for the president to give orders for investigation to commence yet they have powers and authority to deal with the issue (Kelly 160).
This theory has further been criticized because it is argued that, it lacks the convincing proof; hence becoming an ethical issue. It does not clarify whether the correct ethical system is to be solved by either logics or through science methods. It is further confused by the common claim that, utilitarian theory may be unethical by the other ethical schools, theories and formal logic itself. It must appeal to the other facts and evidence which must be justified beyond any reasonable doubt (Orend 23).
This theory has created an ethical dilemma and sharp differences in the argument that has prejudice and underrated the work of the ethical theorists. The most eminent issue is what to be considered ethical and what not. As earlier explained during the definition, it has become a major issue and a challenge to put a clear cut line on what is considered ethical and what not based on that argument. The main issue is that, what someone else consider ethical may be unethical in another person. This has therefore brought a lot of differences, confusion and disagreement on the whole issue ethical standards (Kelly 161).
The issue of corruption is agreeable by most people as unethical and it is a vice that has affected the country’s development because of the misuse of financial resources. By conspiring to award someone a tender before the due process is followed is unethical and one is liable to face the law for misconduct and misuse of office. Some past actions might be ignited by the current issue on corruption; hence can be dealt with once and for all (Orend 24).
There has been much debate and discussion on the issue of ethics concerning the fight against vices such as corruption in Mexico where the nature of ethics have been questioned whether it is linked to the behavior of someone or the lack of stringent rules and regulations governing the institutions. Many ethical theorists have an issue on the character of someone and agencies or authorities with the mandate to deal with some issues (Silverstein 96). There are some questions which surrounds the theory on whether morals are subjective or objective in its applicability (Vendemiati 56).
In conclusion, ethics should be the guiding principles on all business transactions in all organizations and institutions. Business ethics should be observed so as the institution to remain socially acceptable by its deeds or actions. The corruption at the pharmaceutical firm is unethical and must be dealt with accordingly. Ethics should promote good, fair and just actions and punish the evil in the society (Kelly 163).
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