~ The Heinz Dilemma ~ Scenario 1 A woman was near death from a unique kind of cancer.

According to the doctors, there is a drug named Radium that might save her. The drug costs $4,000 per dosage which was more than Heinz could afford since he didn’t have insurance. The sick woman's husband, Heinz, went to everyone he knew to borrow the money and tried every legal means, but he could only get together about $2,000. He told the doctor scientist who discovered the drug that his wife was dying and asked for a discount or let him pay later. But the doctor scientist refused because he needed to recoup the cost for research on the drug that he spent out of his own pocket in order to get himself out of debt.
Should Heinz break into the laboratory to steal the drug for his wife? Why or why not?

Write your response:

Scenario 2
You and your best friend are in Mr. Christian’s math class. His class has been unfairly hard and he is constantly making inappropriate comments to the class. You witness your best friend breaking into Jacobs by breaking a window and crawling into a classroom to steal his calculus final. The deans call a bunch of students down for questioning. You are called down to talk to Mr. Quitno. Should you tell on your friend? Write your response:

Scenario 3
On your way back from lunch you see a freshman boy getting beat up by a senior you had never seen. Should you step in to help the freshman? Write your response:

SCENARIO #1: Which action below most closely resembles your thinking: 1. No, because he could get arrested. 2. Yes, because his wife might yell at him and be disappointed. 3. Yes, because his wife would die without the drugs and he couldn’t live without her and her cooking. 4. No, because the doctor spent lots of time and money creating a cure so it is not fair to the doctor. 5. Yes, Heinz should steal the drug because even if he gets caught and goes to jail his wife and family will love him for being a good husband. 6. No, because he will be viewed as a thief by society and his coworkers. 7. Yes, because Heinz has a duty to save his wife as her husband and should be willing to suffer the consequences if he gets caught. 8. No because if he steals and thinks it is ok then everyone can steal if they think they are right, which could cause society to break down. 9. Yes, because everyone has the right to life regardless of the law against stealing. 10. No, because even though the doctor’s decision is despicable, his right to fair compensation for his discovery must be maintained. 11. Yes, because if he was dying he would want someone to do the same for him SCENARIO #2: Which action below most closely resembles your thinking: 1. Yes, because you could get arrested for obstructing justice. 2. No, because your friend might beat you up and not talk to you anymore. 3. No, because your friend would fail the class and he couldn’t hang out with you anymore because he would be grounded. 4. Yes, because you spent a lot of time studying so it is not fair that he does well without studying. 5. No, you should not tell on your friend because even if you get caught lying and get punished your friend and group of friends will respect you because you had his/her back. 6. Yes, because otherwise you will be looked at as a liar and as a bad person by your classmates, family, and the community. 7. No, because you have a duty to your friend to be loyal and should be willing to suffer the consequences if you get caught. 8. Yes, because if you lie and thinks it is ok then everyone can lie whenever they think they are right, which could create a school and society of liars. 9. No, because the teacher is a jerk to you and has been unfair to your entire class by giving you and many classmates F’s so lying is not as bad as the teacher’s actions. 10. Yes, I should tell on my friend, because even though the teacher’s actions were awful, my friends actions were far worse and I don’t want my friend getting into more trouble in the future.. 11. Yes, because I would hope that your friend would do the same for you. SCENARIO #3: Which action below most closely resembles your thinking: 1. Yes, because I could get into trouble for not helping by the school, your parents, and/or the police. 2. No, because I could be arrested or suspended for getting into a fight. 3. No, because I don’t know or care about the freshman. 4. Yes, because I could get a reward or something for helping. 5. No, because what would my friends think if I helped a freshman or I got beat up trying to do so. 6. Yes, because my school, family, friends, or community might be proud of my actions. 7. No, fighting is against the law and if everyone fought our school wouldn’t be safe. 8. Yes, because the other teenager was breaking the law/school rule or I will be willing to be suspended or go to jail to help a fellow student in need. 9. Yes, because every has the right to not get bullied and be safe at school. 10. No, because even though the senior may be a bully, the freshman needs to get tougher and stand up for himself now or forever be bullied. Or no, I don’t want a society of whimps. 11. Yes, because I would hope that someone would step in to help you if where in the same place.

Kohlberg's Stages
Lawrence Kohlberg (1927-1987) was a well-known theorist in the field of moral development. He posed moral dilemmas (e.g., Heinz Dilemma) to his subjects then asked questions to probe their reasons for recommending a specific course of action.

Stages of Moral Reasoning
From his research, he identified six stages of reasoning at three levels. Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development Stage 1: Punishment-Obedience Orientation: Will I get into trouble? Stage 2: Instrumental Relativist Orientation: What’s in it for me? Stage 3: Good Boy-Nice Girl Orientation: What will other people think? Level Two: Conventional Morality Stage 4: Law and Order Orientation: Was the law broken? What will happen to society if everyone breaks the law? Stage 5: Social Contract Orientation: What is in the public good? Am I blindly following a bad law? Stage 6: Universal Ethical Principle Orientation: What are my morals? Would they do the same to me?

Level One: Pre-conventional Morality

Level Three: Post-Conventional Morality

Movement through the Stages
Kohlberg's theory of moral reasoning is a stage theory. In other words, everyone goes through the stages sequentially without skipping any stage. However, movement through these stages is not natural, that is people do not automatically move from one stage to the next as they mature. In stage development, movement is effected when cognitive dissonance occurs ... that is when a person notices inadequacies in his or her present way of coping with a given moral dilemma. But according to stage theory, people cannot understand moral reasoning more than one stage ahead of their own. For example, a person in Stage 1 can understand Stage 2 reasoning but nothing beyond that. Therefore, we should present moral arguments that are only one stage ahead of a person's present level of reasoning to stimulate movement to higher stages. This article (in 4 parts) is an attempt to use illustrations to help explain the six stages and to show how cognitive dissonance can be created by throwing up the inadequacies of the different stages of reasoning.
Source: Descriptions (in quotations) of the six stages that follow are attributed to Lawrence Kohlberg and taken from Ronald Duska & Mariellen Whelen, Moral Development: A Guide to Piaget and Kohlberg (New York: Paulist), 1975. For more detail go to CH 10.4 Cognitive Development: pages 2460247

Application: 1. Describe a moral question that faces you and explain what stage it falls under in Kohlberg’s stages of moral development.