Whistleblower: An Ethical Dilemma

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Dr. Jeffrey Wigand made a moral and ethical decision to expose safety concerns with Brown and Williamson tobacco industry, where he was a director of research (Feldman, 2016). He did provide information and proof that his company was adding more additives to make their product more addictive and he exposed them for it (Feldman, 2016). How Dr. Jeffry Wigand showed moral intelligence is by taking a stand for what’s wrong and right, he risked his carrier and his life due to death threats for the customers. He seen that adding additional nicotine to increase the customer’s addiction is morally and ethically wrong, and he made sure he took a stand for what he believes is correct. How he was a leader in this situation is he never backed down and continued to make sure they were exposed, and something was done about it. He did not let the death threats deter his feeling of what was right. I think for his own credibility was feeling good about standing up for what is right and making a difference in those individual’s lives that were purchasing and using their products (Feldman, 2016).

If I found something that was unethical in my workplace, I would first go to my supervisor to see if they see this as unethical. If the supervisor does not see there is any problems or that the situation is unethical of course I would then go up the ladder until we get to senior leadership. Once situation was brought to leadership and they respond back with no unethical standpoint and they are not going to do anything about it, I would most definitely move in the same direction as Dr. Jeffrey Wigand and make sure to expose the company. This would not be to hurt them but to get them to turn things around and do right by the people or customers they serve. I currently work for a reproductive healthcare provider and would not want to do anything unethical or wrong to our patients. My decision would not be based on the severity of the unethical practice, because I see unethical is unethical, regardless of big or small. Like I have always said wrong is wrong, and you cannot cover up wrong for a long time, it will soon show itself in many ways.

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The reason that some people tend to accept unethical practices and others do not, because most people are scared to stand up for what’s right. People are scared about how others will look at them and perceive them as causing problems in the workplace and people make comments if they do not agree. Some fear change and how that will impact them. They do not want to speak up because they are scared to lose their job, because they are supporting a family and themselves. So, because of that they do not say anything, and they go with the flow.

Overall, everyone should feel they can stand up for what they feel is right without any kind of repercussion. That everyone should accept and be respectful of everyone’s opinions, thoughts, ideas and if something is truly unethical then to reach out for assistance. I see Dr. Jeffrey Wigand as a great influence for everyone to stand up for what they feel is right and ethical. When you stand up for what is right it will make you feel good about yourself like it did Dr. Jeffrey Wigand.


  1. Feldman, C. (2016, 02 04). 60 Minutes' Most Famous Whistleblower. Retrieved from CBS News: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-most-famous-whistleblower/
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Whistleblower: An Ethical Dilemma. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/whistleblower-an-ethical-dilemma/
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