It has often been said that whether in professional or legal worlds, there is no area of black or white absolutes, but rather shades of grey to varying degrees depending upon a myriad of factors in the particular situations. In this essay, two scenarios-one from professional and one from legal circles-will be presented along with the researcher’s agreement or disagreement with the decision.
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Female employees of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) have long been eligible for six months of maternity leave with job and seniority guarantees. However, when a male engineer with the company applied for paternity leave with the same guarantees (so that he could care for his baby and ease his wife’s return to work), he was turned down.
From a variety of points of view, this decision was the proper one to make for the management of NBC. First, the mother of a baby has certain medical needs that require time for proper recovery, and the baby also has needs that only the mother can properly fulfill if the baby is to grow up to be healthy. Obviously, these needs do not exist in the case of the male employee who wishes to care for the baby and his wife; however, in fairness, NBC may consider the implementation of a policy that would make it possible for a male to receive some sort of reprieve from his work duties if the birth of a child had extraordinary outcomes for the baby and/or the mother, such as birth defects, complications for the mother, and so forth. By doing this, a fair and equitable policy could be equally applied.
An Illinois minister proposed that convicted murderers be executed publicly on prime-time television. The shock of seeing such executions, he reasoned, would deter others from crime.A thorough consideration of this issue has a mixed decision within its evaluation, which is to say that the shock of seeing executions on prime-time television surely would deter others from crime, but it would likely represent a miniscule segment of the population, who would not be likely to commit crime anyhow. The hardcore criminals who usually commit offenses that warrant death penalties are not unlikely to be deterred, nor would they bother to watch such broadcasts. Also, this type of television would lower the standards of society, and as such, the minister’s proposition is invalid.
In closing, it can fairly be said that there are truly few situations where “always” or “never” are valid answers to the burdens of society. Rather, as was done in this essay, each case must be reasonably evaluated and the outcome determined based on fact and logic, rather than a desire to answer everything identically.
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