Paper 3


The Mad Bomber Scenario

The Plot

A madman who has threatened to explode several bombs in crowded areas has been captured.  Hundreds of people may die if the locations of the bombs are not soon discovered. 

The Question

Is it ethical to torture the bomber in an effort to learn the bombs’ locations?


The Lifeboat Scenario

The Plot

A lifeboat that safely holds 7 holds 30 following the sinking of a ship.  A storm is approaching that threatens to kill everyone.  Whoever is chosen to stay aboard must help row to safety.

The Question

Is it ethical for the captain to throw the weakest of the survivors overboard so that those remaining have a greater chance of rescue?


Kohlberg’s Medical Theft Scenario

The Plot

A cure for cancer has been discovered, but costs $200,000 to administer to one patient.  Heinz sells all he owns to purchase the cure for his dying wife, but still does not have enough money. The owner of the cure is not willing to sell for less.   

The Question

Is it ethical for Heinz to steal the medicine?