An ethical dilemma pertains to the presence of an apparent conflicting situation between one or more imperatives in which a personís fulfillment of one imperative leads to the transgression of the other. This is what Ms. Hale found herself in, one week later, after the night she received a phone call from her neighbor and friend. Ms. Kate, ďI am pregnantĒ is all she (Kate) said before switching off her phone. Hale and Kate were junior high school girls, at the prime of their lives, each and accomplished student in her own right, with Hale excelling in music with her excellent piano skills; while Kate was working her way toward becoming a successful model. Stanfield High School was where they went to school; this located in the suburbs of Stanfield city.
Egoism, defined as the drive/ motivation of oneís self-interest over that of others and validating the outcome of oneís actions. This could be described as the behavioral trait of Kate, who, being from a well to do family and having a fantastic physique, was the envy of many of her colleges. Her fine frame and complexion made her the most popular girl whom all the other girls feared due to her temperament and abrasive behavior. Hale was among the lucky few of her peers who were privileged to have made friends with Kate and thus enjoyed some sort of social status among the students. Being Ďhotí as the in-word is, made Kate the subject of appreciation and constant approvals by the boys of the school with Jayson being her boyfriend. Jayson was the schoolís football captain and thus the pair naturally attracted the cr?me of the school students (Shaver, 2009).
Upon receiving the news, Hale had a lot going through her mind; this informed by her friendís tone and sense of urgency. She made up her mind to see her early the next morning. The encounter she expected was complicated even more Kate had informed Jayson, her boyfriend, of her condition, but he reacted nastily, accusing her of wanting to peg her pregnancy on him, the reaction being informed by Jaysonís flourishing career that would see him go on to college on a scholarship. He viewed this pregnancy as a stumbling block to his future prospects and was thus of the opinion that she, Kate, should have an abortion.
Both Jayson and Kate were driven by their egos, always self-centered due to their social status and talents. Their main drive was their prospective careers; to have fun with no strings-attached being their self-made philosophy. Hale, on the other hand, was of middle-class upbringing and she too was eager, to get to college on a scholarship based on her musical talents. Thus, when the two friends finally had some alone-time, Kate poured her heart out to Hale, bubbling about her prospects slipping away; of Jaysonís unexpected and unwarranted reaction, and what her parents would say when they found out. Her only hope that she made known to Hale was to perform an abortion, just as Jayson had recommended (Shaver, 2009).
Abortions are specialized procedures that need the approval of adults before they are conducted; this in regions or countries where it is legal. The stringent laws that govern this medical practice, makes it difficult to conduct one, especially if those intending to do so were minors. This was because of the fact that their parentsí consent and signatures would be required so as to approve of the procedure; something Kate would hear none of. She wanted to do this her way, through what she termed as the backup plan referring to the undergoing the procedure in an unapproved clinic. Jayson was of the same opinion while Hale was of a different perspective.
Haleís perspective was based on the concept of the Categorical Imperative, which is based on Kantís ethical philosophy; referring to the superlative principle of Morality from which Humanity derives all of its moral duties. Being an imperative, it is categorical because it, unconditionally, informs certain courses of action to be performed by a person caught in an ethical dilemma. The two had asked Hale to accompany them to the clinic, which Jayson had traced through a friendís advice. They met the medical practitioner where they set a date for the procedure, and an amount of money was agreed on; this to cover the procedure (Fieser, 2000).
Halesí moral conscience troubled her as she was Kateís best friend and she valued this friendship; also her scholarship awarding would be based not only on her excelling in academic and music classes but also on her overall conduct and behavior within and without her school. Hale made her opinion known to the other two the night before the procedure, cautioning them on the cons of taking the procedure. She enlightened them on the various complications that could arise, coupled with the clinicís non-approval in carrying out the procedure. In addition, they did not have any legal approval to back up the procedure; therefore, they would be doing something illegal (Shaver, 2009).
The judgment of Kate and Jayson, on the other hand, were of the view that the procedure would go without any complication and that their future prospects would be back on track, with no one ever knowing of the matter except the three of them. The next day Kate underwent the procedure that, unfortunately, ended up having complications and she ends up hemorrhaging; this necessitating her hospitalization. Kateís parents are furious and at the same time worried because both Jayson and Hale wonít say a thing as to her condition; their egos and friendship informing this.
Egoism would entail that the two, Hale and Kate, keep quiet and thus come out of the situation safely; this at the expense of Kate. Their careers and prospective scholarships would, therefore, be safe and on hand; this in the future. Their self-interest here becomes the motivating factor of the two, who by now are not only facing Kateís parents but the police; this due to Kateís worsening condition. This self- interest also is what had driven Kate to undergoing the procedure; this at an unsanctioned place, while fully aware of the resultant consequences should the procedure go wrongly. With the police involved they had to stand by each otherís statements, to survive through the interrogations (Fieser, 2000).
However much convinced by her self-interest, Hale was informed by her prospective scholarship, and their code of friendship, could not fathom bearing the consequences of Kateís deteriorating condition and thus driven by the Categorical Imperative decided to tell the truth. This truthfulness is what eventually led to Kateís full recovery because the doctors were then able to perform required medical procedures (Fieser, 2000).
In conclusion, the Categorical Imperative, according to me, is the better option. This is because, in the above narrative, it ended up saving Kateís life; this despite the consequences that followed as pertaining to both Hale and Jayson. This maxim commands the action taken should be performed on present universal norms adoptable by all rational beings. Therefore, as Kateís life was in danger, the imperative of saving her life superseded the preservation of Haleís future career and scholarship prospects. Thus from the above, all other material prospects are trivial to the weight that is carried by a life; this informing Haleís final decision.