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Ethics in Practice: Whistleblower – An Ethical Dilemma
A whistleblower, by definition, is someone who brings an unethical, immoral, or illegal business practice to the public’s attention. Whistleblowers have a difficult time in doing this, and they often find their lives changed because of their actions. Sometimes they are shunned and receive death threats. It is common for the family members to feel the effects of a whistleblower’s behavior.
Dr. Jeffrey Wigand became one of the best-known whistleblowers after his experience was turned into a movie, The Insider. He proved that tobacco companies were deliberately boosting the nicotine content of cigarettes, making them more addictive and cancer causing. However, like other whistleblowers, he suffered from tremendous stress and received death threats and other forms of intimidation for doing the right thing.
How did Dr. Wigand show moral intelligence in this situation? Jeffrey Wigand put his economic future as well as coworkers and his family at risk to expose the tobacco companies. Would you have done the same thing?