Find case studies and scenarios on a variety of fields in applied ethics.
Cases can also be viewed by the following categories:
For permission to reprint cases, submit requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking to draft your own case studies? This template provides the basics for writing ethics case studies in technology (though with some modification it could be used in other fields as well).
An obstetrician treating a heroin-addicted mother considers whether to comply with state law requiring medical professionals to report drug-addicted pregnant women to law enforcement for child endangerment.
A drug treatment counselor considers whether to allow a patient a second chance in the drug-treatment program, against stated program rules.
A religious cleric considers how to support a member of the community struggling with depression and alcoholism, who declines recommended referral to expert medical treatment.
A primary care physician considers if s/he can competently provide treatment to a patient who may have a serious psychiatric disorder and does not wish to go to another doctor.
A physician considers whether to honor a promising medical student’s request to withhold a diagnosis of depression from her record. The medical student fears a record of depression could hurt her career.
A psychologist considers whether there is a duty to warn a couple whom the jealous patient has expressed a desire to stalk and frighten.
An adolescent medicine physician considers how to help a potentially suicidal non-minor young adult who declines treatment. Potential options include the possibility of petitioning the court to coerce inpatient treatment.
A psychiatrist considers whether to use a placebo (a fake treatment) on a patient whom the clinician thinks might benefit.
An AI Ethics Case Study
Concern is high over possible misuses of new AI technology which generates text without human intervention.
Is it ethical for a museum to accept a donation from a donor who has been accused of poor labor practices?