The Ethical Notion Of Heroin Addiction By Gordon Chase

992 Words4 Pages

As heroin use escalated in New York City during the late 1960’s, public officials were scrambling to find ways to deal with the rampant crisis. The city felt a sense of obligation to help those addicted to heroin as well as the victims of crime related to the growing epidemic. Some estimates put the number of heroin addicts at almost 100,000. Gordon Chase, a health services administrator who took office in 1969, believed that not enough was being done to combat the problem. He took it upon himself to develop a treatment program to wean addicts from heroin to a synthetic drug known as methadone. In his efforts to gain support for the new controversial methadone program, and in what some see as an ethics violation, Chase purposely exaggerated the numbers for first year possible results in his program proposal. (Geuras and Garofalo, 2011, pp. 87-88). Gordon Chase did not overstep the limits of administrative discretion nor did he violate ethical principles when he inflated the numbers to get his program off the ground. Acting with concern for the lack of success in battling heroin addiction, Chase exercised values that should be inherent in all public …show more content…

It could be argued that he was trying to create the greatest happiness by stemming the growing tide of misery associated with heroin addiction. The ethical theory supporting the notion of greater happiness, is described by Geuras and Garofalo (2011) when they explain, “Utilitarianism is the predominant teleological ethical theory, which is the group of ethical theories that justify the morality of an action on the basis of its consequences” (p. 50). The intended consequences of his actions were for the greater happiness, and therefore justifiable as a legitimate moral action based on the utilitarian ethical theory. This ethical theory allows the ends to justify the means, and was the approach to which Chase

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