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Posted by Brian on Nov 29, 2017

A Moral Dilemma

I have a friend in a really difficult ethical bind right now, and I thought I’d share the story (with everything kept nice and anonymous, so there are no consequences).

The issue is this: my friend’s sister is in trouble. She’s been trouble, period, for a long time now. She sells drugs, hangs out with some really bad people. I don’t know what happened to her (I’ve heard hints from my friend that something bad occurred in her childhood, but I don’t know more than the hints), but she’s gone way off in the wrong direction. Their family is upper middle class, with a fancy McMansion in the suburbs. My friend is studying to be a lawyer (which makes this story all the crazier). His older brother is already a doctor (which will come into play in a moment). The sister, though, she dropped out of school, and she’s selling drugs around their little suburban town. Seems to me she wanted to get caught, but, well, I’ll let you all decide.

So, she did get caught, his sister. A few months ago, she was arrested for selling her brother’s (the doctor) prescription sheets. The opioid crisis is big business, especially if you can get a doctor’s prescription booklet. Imagine how much one of those sheets can be worth. Well, my friend’s sister knows. I stay out of that stuff.

She got caught. I don’t know if she stole the prescriptions from her brother outright or if he gave them to her. He’s always been easier on her than the others, but he also claims now (and seems genuinely upset about it) that she stole them from his office. I don’t know. His issues are not the main concern of this post.

The concern is my friend. Because he knows where his sister keeps an extra stash of drugs (he thinks cocaine). He has not come forward with this information to the cops, but he has been called into the prosecutor’s office next week, and he doesn’t know what to do.

Obviously, he doesn’t want to perjure himself, but he also doesn’t want to add years to the sentence his sister is going to get. It’s her first offense. If she claims ignorance or some other extenuating circumstances, maybe she’ll get by with a light sentence and be out in a couple years (assuming there are no mandatory minimums, I don’t know). If my friend tells the prosecutor about the drugs, though, it’ll get really bad for her.

So, what should he do? If he doesn’t come forward, he may end up perjuring himself. He’d also be going against his moral code, which has always been strict honesty with the law. The guy doesn’t even take all his deductibles on his taxes. He’s strict about that stuff, I’m telling you. But can he sell out his sister?

The interview is in three days, and he doesn’t know what he’s going to do. I suggested getting rid of the drugs, but if the police already know, he’d be in even more trouble. At this point, it’s going to be unpleasant, no matter what he does. But what do you all reckon he should do?

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