Classrooms of the 21st Century
Technology in Education

BIOETHICS FORUMS DECISION NOTEBOOK- TRADEOFFS


Step 3: Alternatives and Tradeoffs
The third step is to identify alternative actions and consider how they would affect each stakeholder.

Proposal: Fire the waiter


Desribe the alternative action
The owner fires the waiter for insubordination and rudeness to the customer.

How would each Stakeholder be affected.
The pregnant woman would be happy, but may or may not continue to be a loyal customer and stop spreading bad publicity. The waiter would be out of work with a blot on his resume. The owner would have solved the immediate problem but might have a wrongful termination lawsuit on her hands if the waiter is too unhappy. The owner would not have a policy in place if something like this happened again in the future.

Proposal: Make policy much more strict


Desribe the alternative action
The owner revises the restaurant policy and asks waiters to ask any woman of child bearing years if there is any chance she is pregnant before serving her alcohol. She does not fire the waiter.

How would each Stakeholder be affected.
The pregnant woman would still be mad. The waiter might be happy that the owner supported him but he and other waiters would find the new policy very awkward and cumbersome. It is likely that the new policy would hurt business and some future customer might even sue the owner for invasion of privacy.

Proposal: Make policy a little more strict


Desribe the alternative action
The restaurant owner could put a large warning on the menus warning pregnatn women that drinking alcohol can harm their fetus, and that the women are solely responsible for any harm that comes to their fetus.

How would each Stakeholder be affected.
The pregnant woman will still be mad, the waiter may still refuse to serve pregnant women (even if they take all the responsibility themselves), and the owner may still be sued.

Proposal: Do nothing


Desribe the alternative action
The restaurant owner ignores the customer's complaints and doesn't fire the waiter. No new policy is developed.

How would each Stakeholder be affected.
The pregnant woman will be mad, won't come to the restaurant anymore, and may press a lawsuit. The waiter might be pleased, but could be upset that the restaurant owner is not explictly supporting his actions. The owner won't have to find a new employee but may lose business or get sued.

Proposal: Apologize to pregnant woman


Desribe the alternative action
The owner doesn't fire the waiter or develop a new policy but apologizes to the woman, perhaps offers her a free meal, and hopes this persuades her to drop the suit.

How would each Stakeholder be affected.
This would take care of the owner's problems with only a minimal expense. The pregnant woman may not be satisfied, though, and the waiter may continue to refuse serving alcohol to pregnant women.


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